Bay Bridge Toll Hike Public Forums
|November 15, 2009||Posted by jamie under Transportation & Ped Safety||
From the Metropolitan Transportation Commission ….
Bridge Toll Hike Proposed for Earthquake Safety – Upcoming Public Hearings in San Mateo, Concord and San Francisco
The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) is considering a toll increase on the seven state-owned Bay Area toll bridges: the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay and San Mateo-Hayward bridges. (The toll proposal does not affect the Golden Gate Bridge, which is owned and operated by an independent authority.)
This proposed toll hike comes in response to the need to raise an additional $160 million in annual revenues. The chief reason the additional revenue is needed is to finance the estimated $750 million cost of necessary seismic retrofit projects on the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges. Other factors include a slow but steady decline in toll-paying traffic on the state-owned bridges during each of the past five years, increasing operational expenses and rising debt, due in part to the upheaval in the municipal bond markets over the past two years.
Toll options under consideration were presented at the October BATA Oversight Committee meeting (http://www.mtc.ca.gov/news/info/toll_increase.htm) and at the first public hearing on November 4 in Oakland. BATA will hold three additional public hearings to take public comment on these options:
Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at 6:30 p.m.
San Mateo City Hall – City Council Chambers
330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, California
Thursday, December 3, 2009, at 6:30 p.m.
Concord Senior Center – Wisteria Room
(located in John F. Baldwin Park)
2727 Parkside Circle, Concord, California
Monday, December 7, 2009, at 6:30 p.m.
San Francisco State University Downtown Campus
835 Market Street, Room 609, San Francisco, California
Each hearing will feature a short open house (from 6:30 to 7 p.m.) and a staff presentation (beginning at 7 p.m.) prior to taking public testimony.
Written comments will be accepted until 4 p.m., December 21, 2009. Written comments should be submitted to the BATA Public Information Office at 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California, 94607-4700; faxed to BATA at 510.817.5848; or sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, Bay Area residents who are unable to attend one of the public hearings can make their views known via an online survey at: www.mtc.ca.gov/news/get_involved. The survey will be available through December 21, 2009.
BATA Commissioners will weigh all public comment in their decision on the toll increase, scheduled for January 2010. For more information on the hearings or the proposal, visit the MTC Web site at www.mtc.ca.gov or phone the BATA Public Information Office at 510.817.5757.