The Bay Area Toll Authority’s oversight committee on Wednesday approved toll hikes on the seven state owned toll bridges in the San Francisco Area. The toll hikes must now be approved by the Oakland-based agency’s full board.
The BATA committee approved new levies on carpools and an increase in tolls on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to $6 during peak commute hours.
The agency is in the midst of a massive, $8.7 billion capital program to rebuild or retrofit its bridges to withstand big earthquakes. The biggest project is the rebuilding of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, which was badly damaged in the region’s last major quake.
BATA owns all of the region’s major toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge.
The new toll increases are expected to raise about $160 million a year. The money would help fund seismic retrofitting for the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges, as well as offsetting declines in vehicle traffic and increased debt service costs related to the authority’s large variable-rate debt portfolio, which had to be restructured in the wake of the financial crisis.
The full board is scheduled to consider the measure on Jan. 27.