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Bridge toll hikes add $9.3 million for commuter parking projects

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Bay Bridge Toll Plaza<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/16868106974/">Tony Webster</a>/Flickr
A series of toll increases on Bay Area bridges other than the Golden Gate will be put before local voters in June.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday committed $9.3 million from bridge tolls for new commuter parking projects in Alameda County, according to the agency.

Bridge tolls were raised $1 under Regional Measure 2 approved by Bay Area voters in 2004 to finance highway and transit improvements, MTC officials said.

MTC designated $7 million of the $9.3 million to help fund the construction of a new parking garage near the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. Their $7 million commitment supplements $20 million in state funds and another $7 million in vehicle registration fee money for the 537-space garage, according to the MTC.

Construction on the garage is expected to begin next spring, with the opening scheduled for mid-2021.

The remaining $2.3 million of bridge toll money will go towards completing three parking lots in Oakland and Albany for Alameda-Contra Costa Transit’s buses, according to the MTC.

The parking lots are currently under construction and are scheduled to open by the end of the year. One is located next to Interstate Highway 80 at Buchanan Street in Albany, and the other two are located beneath Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland at High Street and Fruitvale Avenue, agency officials said.

MTC Chair and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty said:

“This is a great way to improve the quality of life for a lot of commuters who don’t live within walking distance of a BART station or bus stop.”

Haggerty said:

“Among the ways to reduce congestion on East Bay freeways is to make it more convenient for people to ride transit; and one of the best ways to improve convenience is to solve the chronic parking shortages at so many of our key transit stops.”

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