$7 To Cross The Golden Gate Bridge? It Could Happen Next Spring

A toll increase for motorists on the Golden Gate Bridge may be coming next spring.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District board of directors is meeting this morning to overview its financial plans and discuss ways to reduce the agency’s deficit without further dipping into reserves.

The last increase came in September 2008, bumping up the toll to $6. That was followed by a 2009 funding strategy that was implemented, which planned for another look at an increase at least five years later.

At today’s meeting a preliminary funding proposal will be discussed. As part of that proposal, in November the board may be asked to approve starting the process to implement another toll increase.

If approved later this year, the public would be presented in January with toll options that “have the goal for raising sufficient revenue to allow the District the opportunity to balance its five-year deficit,” according to a staff report.

The five-year deficit is projected at $142 million. Officials said it has grown to that size because there have been five-year gaps in $1 toll increases.

According to the report, it would take another $1 toll increase to sufficiently reduce that deficit.

The 2013-14 operating budget for the district estimates there will be about $168.3 million in revenue.

About 60 percent of that revenue will come from tolls.

Since the operating budget is not balanced it will require more than $13 million from reserves funds, district officials said.

The 10 a.m. meeting will be held at the Log Cabin in the Presidio, at 1299 Storey Ave. in San Francisco.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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