Search BATA Site

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) was created by the California Legislature in 1997 to administer the base $1 auto toll on the San Francisco Bay Area's seven state-owned toll bridges. On Jan. 1, 1998, BATA began operations under the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) — the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county region. In August 2005, the California Legislature expanded BATA’s responsibilities to include administration of all toll revenue and joint oversight of the toll bridge construction program with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission. Caltrans owns and operates the state-owned bridges.

Responsibilities
BATA manages and invests revenues from all tolls levied on the seven state-owned toll bridges: Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay and San Mateo-Hayward. As part of these activities, BATA funds the day-to-day operations, facilities maintenance, and administration of the bridges. BATA also funds the long-term capital improvement and rehabilitation of the bridges, including the projects mandated by Regional Measure 1 and the Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program.

A history of the major milestones for the Bay Area Toll Authority is shown below.

1997 - Senate Bill 226 is passed by Legislature, which creates the Bay Area Toll Authority and establishes that BATA will administer and oversee the Regional Measure 1 (RM 1) Regional Measure 1 toll program. Senate Bill 60 is passed by the Legislature, which establishes the fund program for the completion of the Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program. SB 60 authorizes a seismic toll surcharge of $1 for 8 years and authorizes MTC to select amenities for the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ( Bay Bridge) and to extend the toll surcharge for up to 2 additional years to pay for the amenities.

January 1998 - BATA begins operation. $1 Seismic Surcharge toll increase (pursuant to SB 60) is effective on the state-owned bridges (Seismic surcharge toll administered by Caltrans).

June 1998 - BATA selects a single-tower, self-anchored suspension span with bike/pedestrian lanes for the new East Span of the Bay Bridge and extends the seismic surcharge 14.7 months ($141 million) to pay for the amenities.

December 1998 - BATA adopts its first Long Range Plan for the state-owned bridges.

2001 - Assembly Bill 1171 is passed by the Legislature to make permanent the $1 seismic surcharge to fund cost overruns associated with the seismic retrofit of the state-owned toll bridges. BATA is authorized to use a portion of the toll surcharge for bridge corridor improvements.

2001 - BATA issues first debt financing of $400 million for the Regional Measure 1capital improvements. In 1988, Bay Area voters approved RM 1, raising tolls on the state-owned bridges to a uniform $1 and pledging the proceeds to specific bridge corridor improvements. Caltrans is responsible for the construction of the voter-approved RM 1 projects. BATA is responsible for funding and overseeing the RM 1 bridge program.

October 2002 - San Mateo-Hayward Bridge widening completed (RM 1).

November 2003 - New westbound span of the Carquinez Bridge opened (RM 1).

March 2004 - BATA assumes operation of the FasTrak ® Electronic Toll Collection program from Caltrans.

July 2004 - $1 toll increase for the Regional Measure 2 Traffic Relief Plan, which was passed by Bay Area voters in March 2004, is effective on the state-owned toll bridges. With transbay travel in the Bay Area expected to increase by approximately 40 percent over the next two decades, the California Legislature in 2002 determined that new investment in the bridge corridors was needed, along with a new revenue source. The list of projects financed through Regional Measure 2 (RM 2), and included in the enabling legislation, is being financed by the $1 increase in tolls and includes a balanced set of transportation projects in the bridge corridors, including new mass transit options and critical highway bottleneck improvements. MTC is responsible for allocating the toll, while BATA is responsible for issuing bonds and for submitting updates on the Regional Traffic Relief Plan to the state Legislature.

September 2004 - At the request of Caltrans, BATA completes a review of cost estimates to complete the Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program projects, which identifies total program costs of up to $8.3 billion, and a review of options for the award of the bid for the Self-Anchored Suspension Bridge contract. Revised costs estimates are basis for program costs for AB 144 legislation.

January 2005 - Pursuant to Assembly Bill 144, BATA assumes responsibility for collection and administration of all toll revenues on the state-owned bridges. AB 144 authorizes a $1 increase in the seismic surcharge to be implemented no earlier than January 1, 2007. The bill also creates the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPCO), consisting of the Executive Director of BATA and the Directors of Caltrans and the CTC, to oversee the toll bridge seismic program.

May 2005 - BATA, in conjunction with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District, open a consolidated Regional FasTrak ® Customer Service Center. The Regional CSC is located in downtown San Francisco.

July 2005 - Pursuant to Assembly Bill 144, BATA approves Caltrans’ release of bid documents for the rebid of the self anchored suspension span portion of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

September 2005 - BATA assumes operation and maintenance of the ATCAS toll collection system on the state-owned bridges from Caltrans.

May 2006 - BATA adopts the FasTrak ® Strategic Plan, which calls for added FasTrak ® lanes, reconfigured lanes (e.g. cash payers to the right FasTrak ® to the left), and improved signage on all of the state-owned bridges.

July 2006 - BATA and MTC establish a Joint Powers Authority (Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority) for the financing of the state contribution to the toll bridge seismic retrofit program and other potential transportation improvement projects.

December 2006 - BATA updates its Long Range Plan for the state-owned bridges (e.g. adds RM 2 projects into long range plan).

January 2007 - $1 Seismic surcharge toll increase (pursuant to AB 144) is effective on the state-owned bridges to fund the seismic program.

August 2007 - New span of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge is opened to traffic, with first installation of open road tolling installed at toll plaza.

September 2007 - BATA completes construction of the lane and signage improvements for all of the state-owned bridges, pursuant to the FasTrak ® Strategic Plan.

October 2007 - BATA partners with the San Francisco International Airport to implement FasTrak ® into the SFO parking facilities.

September 2009 - BATA completes demolition of the mini-toll plaza at Bay Bridge and implements open road tolling at right side of Bay Bridge toll plaza.

May 2010 - BATA awards a contract for the construction of a new Toll Operations Building at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. BATA is administering the construction project.

June 2010 - BATA issues $1.5 billion of bonds under the taxable Build America Bond (BAB) program to fund the bridge capital program.

July 2010 - Pursuant to BATA approval in January 2010, a toll increase to complete the funding of the Seismic Retrofit Program, which was expanded pursuant to AB 1175 to include retrofit of the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges, and the RM 1 toll program is effective, including congestion pricing on the Bay Bridge and reduced rate tolling of carpools.

September 2010 - I-680 Express Lane is opened to traffic. BATA’s FasTrak ® system provides account management and back office operations.

October 2010 - FasTrak ® opens one millionth customer account. FasTrak ® use hits about 75% during morning peak hours at state-owned toll bridges.

October 2011 - The final Regional Measure 1 project, the improvement of the Interstate 880/State Route 92 interchange, was completed.

March 2012 - Caltrans Toll Operations is shifted into the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Toll Operations Building, constructed by BATA.

July 2012 - Tolls for drivers of big-rig trucks, cars and trucks hauling trailers, and other vehicles or combinations with more than two axles became fully indexed at $5 times the number of axles.

January 2013 - The Dumbarton Bridge seismic retrofit project was completed.

April 2013 - The Antioch Bridge seismic retrofit project was completed.

June 2013 - BATA updates the facing of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Toll Plaza Canopy to match the adjacent Toll Operations Building.

September 2013 - The new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened for traffic.

September 2013 - Replacement of BATA's existing toll collection system, for all 71 lanes, was completed when lanes 19 and 20 were converted during the Labor Day Weekend Bay Bridge Closure.

For more information, contact the Bay Area Toll Authority at 510.817.5700 or by e-mail at info@mtc.ca.gov.