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SF Chronicle: S.F. Lawmakers Propose Bridge Toll Hike To Bail Out Transit Agencies

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

To help BART and other Bay Area transit agencies avoid cutting rail and bus service, a group of progressive state lawmakers is proposing raising tolls on seven state-owned bridges in the region.

The lawmakers’ measure, unveiled Friday, would raise tolls by $1.50 for five years — bumping the total toll to $8.50 for two-axle vehicles with a FasTrak toll pass. The money would be earmarked for transit systems in the Bay Area, which face a looming “fiscal cliff” due to a post-pandemic slump in ridership.

... But Ting said lawmakers are stepping in because there has been a lack of urgency among local governments and transit officials to address the crisis. He said he also understands the frustration that many riders have over a lack of cleanliness and public safety on BART, and vowed the state’s budget will include new oversight requirements.

“If this really is an emergency, it needs to be treated like an emergency, and we need to do something now,” he said.