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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Death of Casual Carpool: $2.50 on the Bay Bridge

The free rides across the Bay Bridge during rush hours for those who have three or more passengers in their vehicle ends on July 1, 2010.

The Bay Area Toll Authority approved a hike on the Bay Area bridges for all regular can go up to $6, and carpools now will pay $2.50. Really? $2.50?

Here's why charging carpools is so stupid:
  1. The need for tolltakers in the booths, and why should the tolltakers handle quarters? It will also slow down the smooth traffic.
  2. Requiring Fastrak? That'll be a pain in the ass to regulate. Not every commuter uses Fastrak and waits in line at the plaza to pay their toll.
  3. The death of casual carpool is the worst problem because it's been tradition that carpooling is always FREE and slugs are NEVER supposed to give money to the driver for a faster commute.
I thought San Francisco was going to hell with the bad Muni service, but toll hikes? Screw you BATA.


murphstahoe said...

I think you are too worried.

1) If I understood it, if you do not have a fastrak you cannot use the carpool lanes. You can have an army in your car, you still pay $6. So no tolltakers in the carpool booths, and no quarters.

2) See #1. No regulation, if you don't have fastrak and you go through the carpool booth, you'll be assessed a $6 fine.

3) My understanding from those using the casual carpool is that the drivers aren't so worried about the toll cost, the benefit comes from being able to use the carpool lane. As it is, the current toll is $4. The new toll will be $6, or $2.50 if you are in a carpool. So by being in a carpool, you save $3.50 - 87.5% of what you were saving before. If money was a motivator before, it still will be.

We'll see - that's why they play the game.

annie said...

I'd be fine if the hybrid cars with one person start getting charged the full fare. The carpool lane isn't only about pollution, but more about congestion.

That really chaps my hide.

troymccluresf said...

Not every commuter uses Fastrak and waits in line at the plaza to pay their toll.

I believe that's the entire point.