Voters appear to OK Measure 3, regional Bay Area bridge toll hike

A third lane opened along the Richmond-San Rafael Bridgel, Friday.

Voters on Tuesday appeared to pass a regional measure that raises tolls all seven state-owned bridges by $3 over six years, raising an estimated $4.45 billion over the next decade for capital projects and roughly $60 million annually to support transit operations.

As of Wednesday morning, the Yes on Measure 3 vote had a combined 54 percent, though not every county had all of their precincts reporting. San Francisco, Santa Clara and Solano counties, for example, only had between 30 and 50 percent of their precincts reporting.

Measure 3 did not pass in Contra Costa County, where only 43 percent of the votes were in favor of the toll hike and Solano County, where only 30 percent of the voters said yes. 

The measure needs a simple majority across all nine Bay Area counties to pass. 

Measure 3 raises tolls by $1 in 2019, 2022 and 2025 on all Bay Area bridges except for the Golden Gate Bridge. By 2025, it would cost $9 to cross those bridges during peak hours and $8 to cross at any other time.

The Bay Area Toll Authority voted unanimously in January to place the measure on the ballot, saying that it would raise an estimated $4.45 billion in funding for transportation improvements throughout the region. 

The new revenue will go toward many transportation projects, including not just roads but a BART extension to San Jose, a Caltrain extension to the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco and new ferry boats and San Francisco Municipal Railway train cars.

The mayors of the three largest cities in the region campaigned for the measure in the final weeks leading up to Tuesday's election. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and interim San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell appeared at the Ferry Building in May to announce their 
support for the higher tolls. The MTC had also backed the measure and tracked its results.

Scott Morris from Bay City News contributed to this report.