Golden Gate Bridge motorists who pay their tolls in cash will have to change their ways in a matter of hours, as the bridge is converting to all-electronic tolling overnight.
Toll collectors will finish their last shifts just after midnight, and the bridge will then no longer take cash payments, bridge spokeswoman Mary Currie said.
Final preparations have been made for the conversion, including a 27-foot LED sign that was installed atop the toll plaza on Monday that reads, “Do Not Stop, Automatic Tolling.”
The Golden Gate Bridge’s board of directors last week also approved raising the speed limit through the toll plaza from 15 to 25 mph to improve traffic flow across the bridge.
People can still use the existing FasTrak system and pay a toll of $5 — one dollar less than the $6 tolls paid using other methods. Currie said last month that about 70 percent of southbound motorists on the bridge already use FasTrak.
Three other options involve paying by a license plate number.
Drivers can set up an automatic billing account associated with their license plate numbers; make a one-time payment before crossing the bridge or within 48 hours afterward; or pay an invoice that is mailed to the car’s registered owner after the crossing with the help of cameras that capture passing cars’ license plate numbers.
Payments can be made online, by phone or in person at participating locations are listed online on the bridge district’s website.
All-electronic tolling is expected to save the bridge district $16.8 million over eight years, district officials said.
Nearly half of the 28 full-time toll collectors who worked in the plaza are being transitioned to other positions in the district, while the others are being given severance packages, Currie said.
More information about the electronic conversion, as well as directions for how to set up an account, can be found on the bridge’s website at www.goldengate.org/tolls.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News