Monday, July 19 Other bridges, other woes

An easy beginning to the week – few riders, many cars. My ride from Vallejo is a Honda Civic with a petite Latina at the wheel. The other passenger and I each give her a dollar bill which she graciously accepts and thanks us for. As we leave the north bay behind we move from a summer morning into late autumn. The sky darkens, the air chills and it’s more like early winter as we move closer to the City. The view of Alcatraz from the Bay Bridge looks like a dark cold tomb. But the fog will lift, the sun will rise and the tourists in their shorts and tank tops will warm up. Traffic’s heavy and the toll gates are packed.

Across the bay at the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin carpoolers who are still reeling from their newly imposed $3 toll, are facing their first day with FasTrak only – no more cash allowed for carpoolers. They were given 3 weeks after the July 1 toll began to either pay with cash or FasTrak. Plus they have to go through a staffed lane, so that their carpool status can be verified. The Golden Gate Bridge Authority says about 2% of their bridge traffic is carpool. They are planning to make $1.3 million a year in additional revenue from the new $3 toll, which will go towards replacing a $132 million budget deficit over the next 5 years. Yikes. – CG

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