Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) announced Friday the temporary suspension of cash toll collection at the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges in order to minimize toll collectors’ and toll-paying customers’ risk of exposure to Covid-19 during the current public health emergency.
The temporary suspension of cash toll collection will affect drivers who cross the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay or San Mateo-Hayward bridges. The Golden Gate Bridge adopted all-electronic tolling in 2013.
Beginning at midnight tonight, all toll booths at all Bay Area toll plazas will be unstaffed. Toll bridge patrons who normally stop at a toll booth to pay cash should continue through the toll plaza without stopping. Automated, high-speed cameras will capture images of customers’ license plates, and the FasTrak® customer service center will process the images and then mail a toll notice to the address at which the vehicle is registered with the DMV. While these notices will include a heading that reads “Toll Violation Notice,” these transactions will not be considered violations and the amount due on each notice will be for the toll amount only. The FasTrak customer service center will waive all toll violation penalties during the period in which cash toll collection is suspended, and also will suspend the escalation of penalties for previous unpaid toll crossings. This will include a temporary halt to referrals to the DMV for a hold on vehicle registration after a second toll violation notice has gone unpaid.
Patrons who normally use a FasTrak® toll tag or license plate account for toll collection will see no difference in their statements.
Caltrans and BATA encourage toll bridge customers who do not already have FasTrak accounts to open accounts online at www.bayareafastrak.org or by phone at 1-877-229-8655 (BAY-TOLL). Customers who may be leaving their homes to buy food or medicine at a Costco or Walgreens store may obtain a FasTrak toll tag at these stores and then activate their new accounts online. A map of retail locations at which FasTrak toll tags are available may be found at www.bayareafastrak.org/en/howitworks/retailmap.html.
Caltrans and BATA will monitor toll bridge operations and heed ongoing public health guidance before making any decisions about resuming cash toll collection at Bay Area toll bridges.
BATA administers all toll revenues from the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges. Caltrans owns and operates the state highway system, including the seven Bay Area toll bridges.