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Coronavirus Pandemic: Newsom Orders Toll-Takers Pulled From Bay Area Bridges

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered the temporary suspension of cash toll collection at the San Francisco Bay Area's seven state-owned bridges in order to minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Toll takers will no longer be stationed at the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay or San Mateo-Hayward bridges. The Golden Gate Bridge already had adopted all-electronic tolling back in 2013.

Beginning at midnight, all toll booths will be unstaffed. Toll bridge patrons who normally stop at a toll booth to pay cash should continue through the toll plaza without stopping.

Caltrans said the automated, high-speed cameras already at the toll plazas will capture images of customers' license plates and the FasTrak customer service center will process the images and then mail a toll notice to the address at which the vehicle is registered with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Officials said although the notices would include a heading that reads "Toll Violation Notice," these transactions will not be considered violations and the amount due on each notice will be for the toll amount only.

The customer service center will waive all toll violation penalties during the period in which cash toll collection is suspended, and also will suspend the escalation of penalties for previous unpaid toll crossings.

Patrons who normally use a FasTrak toll tag or license plate account for toll collection will see no difference in their statements.

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