Seven Bay Area Congressional Representatives Decry Bridge Toll Increase as Not in Best Interests of Residents

In a letter they co-led to Governor Newsom and State Senate and Assembly Leaders, Bay Area Representatives Mark DeSaulnier and Anna Eshoo expressed their concerns about SB 532, a bill that would raise tolls by $1.50 on seven Bay Area bridges in 2024 and unfairly impact Bay Area residents. They were joined in sending the letter by Representatives Garamendi, Lee, Snchez, Swalwell, and Thompson. The Bay Area Council strongly opposes SB 532, and ahead of the letter coming out Council CEO Jim Wunderman met with DeSaulnier and Eshoo in Washington D.C., and urged them not to support the toll hike.

If passed, SB 532 would implement the fourth increase of toll prices on affected Bay Area bridges over six years, and would result in drivers paying $9.50 to cross just one bridge by 2025. Analysis of bridge toll users convey that these costs are unfairly being borne in part by low to moderate-income, car-dependent Bay Area residents who must commute across bridges because they cannot afford to live near where they work. Funding from the toll increase would go to transit agencies, including BART and SF Muni, that just recently received $5.1 billion in the state budget to sustain operations while they work to restore ridership. The Council advocated for the state funding, but believes that before approving any more funding transit agencies must look internally at ways they can reduce costs, become more efficient with the funding they have and work aggressively to address issues of crime, safety and cleanliness that are keeping riders away.

In the letter, the members wrote the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Bay Area Public Transportation Emergency Act (SB 532) would temporarily raise bridge tolls by $1.50 on state-owned bridges in the Bay Area from 2024 to 2028. However, we’re concerned that this legislation will disproportionately impact our constituents and low-income communities who depend on driving for their transportation to and from work, and ultimately does not provide long-term, sustainable solutions for some of the operating issues of the Bay Area public transit agencies.

In a press release announcing the letter, Council CEO Jim Wunderman was quoted: “Before yet again asking motorists to dig deep and pay more in tolls, let’s have a complete and honest review of our region’s transit system, and ensure that we are delivering on reliability, efficiency, safety and connectivity among the 27 operating agencies. The public deserves nothing less We applaud Reps. DeSaulnier and Eshoo and our other Congressional representatives for their leadership in taking a stand against this flawed toll increase and demanding more accountability.”

Read the press release>>

Read the letter>>

For More Information Contact:

Emily Loper image
Emily Loper

Vice President of Public Policy, Transportation

(415) 946-8745

Subscribe to The Weekly Flash Subscribe
News and Guts Search Menu Left Angle Up Angle Down Angle Right Angle Left Arrow Right Arrow Email User Play Pause Fullscreen Exit Fullscreen Unmute Mute Close Loading Gallery Arrow Gallery Youtube Facebook Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Pinterest Google + Flickr Yelp Trip Advisor