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Phil Matier: Electronic Tolling Could Be Future Of California Bridges

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Bay Area transportation officials are looking at the Golden Gate Bridge's future electronic tolling program as a possible harbinger of things to come for other spans.

Starting in December, the new system is expected to be activated on the Golden Gate, although toll workers will still be in place to collect the $6 fee. But come February, the only options for drivers will be to sign up for FasTrak, open a pay-as-you-go license plate account or make a one-time payment before the Golden Gate Bridge District mails a bill.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

The Golden Gate was the first bridge to adopt FasTrak, and now will be the first to replace toll workers with cameras and computers.

The move to electronic tolling will be closely watched and could eventually be a model throughout the state, although that is likely a ways off. It's expected that agencies like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which operates seven bridges, will first monitor how the program works on the Golden Gate before implementing its own system.

The new tolling system is expected to save the Golden Gate Bridge District $19 million over an eight year period.

You can hear Phil Matier's comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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