Golden Gate Bridge District approves toll hike, cost to rise over next five years

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District's board of directors on Friday approved raising the tolls over the next five years starting July 1, when the first hike will take place by 35 cents per year.

The cost will increase by 35 cents a year, bringing the total amount to a maximum of $9.75 per trip if drivers use invoice billing. The price would cost slightly less, $8.75 a trip by 2023, if drivers use FasTrak and $9 per trip if drivers pay as they go.

In other words, if FasTrak motorists drive five days a week over the bridge, minus two weeks for vacation, they would pay $2,125 in Golden Gate Bridge tolls per year by 2023. Currently, it costs $7 for a car to drive over the bridge with a FasTrak and $8 without.

The last time the board voted to increase the tolls was five years ago when it cost just $5 to cross the bridge, spokeswoman Priya Clemens said. 

The toll hike will bring in a total of $100 million over the next five years for the district, much of which will expand the Larkspur Ferry service. 

 As of March 5, the district had received 53 public comments, 37 of which were opposed to toll hikes. Seven comments were in favor of the toll increase and eight favored an different revenue-raising proposal.   

The Golden Gate Bridge decision comes three months after tolls on the Bay Area's seven state-owned bridges went up by $1. As of Jan. 1. The rush-hour tolls on the Bay Bridge are now $7, up from $6, and the toll during off-commute hours is now $5. For a person who drives over that bridge every work day during the peak hours, minus two weeks for vacation, that totals $1,750 a year. 

KTVU's Lisa Fernandez and BCN's James Lanara contributed to this report.