Search BATA Site

1. Who is responsible for the Bay Area’s eight toll bridges?
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for the day-to-day operations, maintenance and toll collection on the seven state-owned bridges in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Mateo-Hayward and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as the Bay Area Toll Authority, administers the tolls collected on the seven state-owned bridges to fund bridge projects and transportation activities on and around the bridges.

The Golden Gate Bridge is owned, operated and maintained by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, an independent public agency. For more information, go to www.goldengatebridge.org.

2. What is Caltrans?
Caltrans is the state agency responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the California state highway system. In addition to the day-to-day operations of the state-owned toll bridges, Caltrans also is responsible for oversight of the rehabilitation and construction of the bridges. For more information, go to www.dot.ca.gov.

To contact Caltrans in the Bay Area, call the Caltrans public information office at 510-286-4444 or go to www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/information.htm.

3. What is the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA)?
The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) was created by the California Legislature in 1997 to administer the base $1 toll on the Bay Area's seven state-owned toll bridges and oversee the RM 1 program. On Jan. 1, 1998, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) began operations as BATA.  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. To contact BATA, call MTC’s public information office at 510-817-5757 or e-mail info@mtc.ca.gov.

4. What is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)?
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Created by the California Legislature in 1970, MTC functions as both the regional transportation planning agency — a state designation — and for federal purposes, as the region's metropolitan planning organization (MPO). As such, it is responsible for the Regional Transportation Plan, a 25-year comprehensive blueprint for the development of mass transit, highway, airport, seaport, railroad, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The Commission also screens requests from local agencies for state and federal grants for transportation projects to determine their compatibility with the plan. For more information, go to www.mtc.ca.gov. To contact MTC, call MTC’s public information office at 510-817-5757 or e-mail info@mtc.ca.gov .

5. How much is the toll on the seven state-owned bridges in the Bay Area?
To see the current toll schedule, click here.

6. What is the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge?
The toll for a two-axle car is currently $6 with a $1 discount for FasTrak™ electronic toll collection users; the rate is higher for vehicles with three or more axles. To see the current toll schedule, go to http://www.goldengate.org.

7. Who sets the toll on the state-owned toll bridges?
The toll on the seven state-owned toll bridges in the Bay Area is set by the state Legislature and the Bay Area Toll Authority.

The toll on the Golden Gate Bridge is set by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, an independent public agency. For more information, go to www.goldengatebridge.org.

8. What are the tolls collected on the seven state-owned bridges used for?
Tolls collected on the state-owned bridges are used to finance a number of transportation activities and projects on and near the bridges. BATA administers $2 of the $5 toll to cover the operations and maintenance of the bridges and for Regional Measure 1 and Regional Measure 2 projects. Caltrans administers the additional $3 seismic surcharge, which pays for the seismic retrofit of the state-owned toll bridges, including the replacement of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

9. How much money is collected annually from bridge tolls from the seven state-owned bridges?
Fiscal Year 2011-12 generated nearly $642 million in tolls collected on the state-owned bridges. Of this total BATA administers $255 million for the operations and maintenance of the bridges and for Regional Measure 1 and Regional Measure 2 projects, and Caltrans administers another portion ($387 million) to cover the seismic retrofit of the toll bridges.

10. How many vehicles cross the seven state-owned bridges annually?
Approximately 123.67 million vehicles cross the seven state-owned bridges in a year. Of these, 57% of total vehicles pay the full-fare toll electronically using FasTrak™, 38% pay using cash and 5% pay the reduced-fare carpool rate also by using FasTrak™. After a six year decline in Bay Area bridge traffic ending in FY 10-11, traffic volumes have once again increased. Final traffic volumes for FY 12-13 are expected to exceed 125 million vehicles.

11. Which toll bridges can I ride my bike across?
Currently, bicyclists can ride across the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, and the Golden Gate bridges – toll-free – subject to posted regulations. A pedestrian/bicycle path exists for the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but will not fully reach Treasure Island, from Oakland, until March 2015.

For more information, go to http://bicycling.511.org/bridges.htm.

12. What is FasTrak™?
FasTrak™ is an electronic toll collection system that allows you to prepay your bridge tolls, eliminating the need to stop at the toll plaza. The system has three components: a transponder, which is placed inside your vehicle; an overhead antenna, which reads the transponder and deducts the toll from your prepaid account; and video cameras to identify toll evaders.

FasTrak™ transponders are compatible with electronic toll collection equipment on all California toll facilities, including the seven state-owned toll bridges in the Bay Area, the Golden Gate Bridge and toll roads in Orange and San Diego counties.

For more information about FasTrak®, including how to enroll, go to www.511.org.

13. If I'm in a cash toll collection lane, can I use a credit or debit card, or a personal check to pay my toll?

No, the toll collectors cannot accept credit or debit card payments, or personal checks. However, you can arrange to prepay tolls by credit/debit card or check, when you set up a FasTrak account.

14. What if I drove through a FasTrak™ or cash toll collection lane without paying?
For the seven state-owned toll bridges, when you pass through a toll lane without paying the toll, an image of your vehicle is captured. A violation notice is sent to the vehicle’s registered owner at the address on file with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The notice requests payment for the toll amount and an additional $25 fee. If you fail to respond to the instructions on the notice, an additional $45 fee may be assessed and you risk having a hold placed on your vehicle’s DMV registration. To pay your violation notice online, go to www.bayareafastrak.org/vector/dynamic/violations/.

If you believe you have received the violation payment notice in error, follow the instructions provided on the notice. Additional violations may result in additional fines.

15. What if I lost my FasTrak™ violation notice or want to dispute the violation?

If you lost your violation notice, you can call the FasTrak® Customer Service Center at 877-BAY-TOLL (877-229-8655), or for out-of-state callers, call 415-486-TOLL (415-486-8655). If you want to dispute the violation, you can go to www.bayareafastrak.org/vector/dynamic/violations/.

16. What happens if I overpaid the toll or didn't receive enough change from a toll collector?
Please contact the Bay Area Toll Authority at 510-817-5700 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.

17. What happens if I want to register a complaint against a toll collector?
Please contact the Bay Area Toll Authority at 510-817-5700 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.

18. When I didn’t have enough money to pay for my bridge toll, the toll collector handed me a “Toll Violation” card.  What is this for?
Any person crossing a bridge without money in their immediate possession in an amount sufficient to pay the prescribed tolls is in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23302.  As a courtesy in the past, Caltrans allowed these drivers to pay their tolls later using a “no-fund-vehicle” slip.  However, toll collectors on the state-owned bridges are no longer issuing “no-fund-vehicle” slips.  Any vehicle attempting to cross any of the state-owned bridges with insufficient funds to pay the tolls are being notified that they will be receiving a toll violation notice in the mail.  If violators sign up for FasTrak®, their $25 violation penalty fee may be waived.

19. What if I used a HOV/carpool-lane by mistake?
Vehicles that do not meet the requirements for high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV)/carpool-lane use are subject to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) citation with a fine of $381. If you received a CHP citation, follow the instructions on the citation.

In addition, non-carpool vehicles using an HOV/carpool lane by mistake when crossing a toll bridge will receive a toll evasion notice in the mail. To resolve the violation, follow the instructions provided on the back of the notice.

20. What are the HOV/carpool-lane restrictions at the bridges?
Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges

  • Any 2-axle vehicle, without trailer(s), carrying three or more persons, may cross in designated carpool lane(s) on Monday through Friday between 5 a.m.-10 a.m. and 3 p.m.-7 p.m. The carpool toll of $2.50 shall be paid electronically using a FasTrak® toll tag.

Dumbarton and San Mateo-Hayward Bridges

  • Any 2-axle vehicle, without trailer(s), carrying two or more persons, may cross in designated carpool lane(s) on Monday through Friday between 5 a.m.-10 a.m. and 3 p.m.-7 p.m. The carpool toll of $2.50 shall be paid electronically using a FasTrak® toll tag.

21. How can I get more information about driving my hybrid vehicle in the Bay Area carpool lanes?
With the passage of the Federal Transportation bill on August 10, 2005 and Assembly Bill 2628 (AB 2628) on September 23, 2004, qualified single-occupancy hybrid vehicles are now permitted to use dedicated High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)/carpool lanes in the Bay Area during designated carpool hours, if these vehicles are displaying the distinctive stickers issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Single-occupancy hybrid vehicles pay a reduced toll when driving across the Bay Area toll bridges in an HOV/carpool lane. Click here for more information.

22. How can I find out about traffic conditions, public transit, and car/vanpools in the Bay Area?
Call 511 for both traffic and transit information. You also can go to www.511.org for traffic updates and information on public transit and car/vanpools.

23. How do I get a job with Caltrans?
You can go to http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/jobs/ for more information on employment with the California Department of Transportation.

24. How do I learn of job and contracting opportunities with MTC or BATA?
You can go to http://www.mtc.ca.gov/jobs/ for more information on jobs and contracting opportunities with MTC and BATA.