Gas tax, Golden Gate Bridge toll and BART fare increases take effect

It is now more expensive to travel in the Bay Area. 

As of Friday morning, there will be increases in fares, tolls and even gas prices.

California's state gas tax officially increases 3 cents a gallon, just as the country is seeing the average price of gas to slightly decline. 

According to AAA, the average price of gas in California is at $6.27, about $1.50 more than the national average.

An expected fare increase for BART riders also takes effect. The 3.4% increase was originally slated for Jan. 1, but was delayed for six months. That increase will add about 15 cents an average fare of $3.78. 

BART representatives explained the increase at the time of its announcement: "This fare increase is well below the current rate of inflation and is part of the Board-approved Inflation-Based Fare Increase Program which has been in place since 2003 and offers passengers a predictable pattern of small fare adjustments over time at a rate below inflation."

Finally, the Golden Gate Bridge now has a more expensive toll. The bridge's Highway and Transportation District will increase tolls on the bridge by 20 or 35 cents for most drivers. If you drive with a FasTrak pass, it will cost you $8.40 to cross the bridge.

The district says revenue from the increase will help fund a projected $75 million deficit as well as continue to fund ongoing projects, maintenance, as well as run the Golden Gate Ferry and Golden Gate Transit Service.

Another 35 cent increase is set for next summer. The Bay Bridge, connecting Oakland to San Francisco, raised its toll from $6 to $7 back in January.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state budget into law for the next fiscal year. It includes a rebate for California taxpayers. 

That means if you earn less than $250,000 a year, you qualify for a check ranging from $200 to $350. A family earning less than $150,000 jointly can get up to $1,050.