As the Golden Gate Bridge Transportation District nears a major shift to an all-electronic toll system at the end of March, 10 pilot electronic kiosks for cash paying customers have been rolled out in Marin and San Francisco.
At the kiosks (scroll down for location details), drivers can pay for their bridge toll up to 30 days before or 48 hours after they cross the iconic span, allowing them to avoid receiving an invoice in the mail for their toll.
District Spokesperson Mary Currie demonstrated using one of the kiosks inside a San Rafael Chevron station on March 1. (See the above video.)
The machines appear straightforward, but have one counter-intuitive element — users have to hit a green “next” button each time they want to move to a new entry line on a form.
“If I were to give anybody advice, learn to use the 'next' button,” Currie said.
Drivers can also use the kiosks to add money to a FasTrak account, add money to a license plate account, pay a mailed invoice or pay a violation. All they need is cash and their license plate number. See more information about the different options cash-paying drivers will have here.
People from any U.S. state can use the kiosks. Also, people with a vehicle that doesn’t have a license plate yet are still required by California law to pay the toll, Currie said.
Pilot kiosk locations:
- Daly City Market, 333 87th Street
- Country Club Shell, 5821 Nave Drive, Novato
- Chevron, 1320 2nd Street, San Rafael
- Gateway Gas, 1005 Northgate Drive, San Rafael
- Variedades Cellulares, 26 Medway Road, San Rafael
- San Francisco Farmers Market, 4929 Mission Street
- DJ Market, 3278 Mission Street
- Family Market, 198 Broad Street
- 19th Avenue 76, 1400 19th Avenue
- Alcatraz Market, 757 Beach Street
Officials plan to have 150 kiosks rolled out by the end of the month, although many of the locations — including ones north of Novato — haven’t been finalized, Currie said.
Drivers can also make a one-time payment on the district website, where there is also information about opening a FasTrak account and using other payment options.
The all-electronic system will save the district $16.8 million over eight years, district officials said, and Currie said cost savings, particularly on salaries and benefits, are the biggest driver of the switch. The move will lead to 14 toll workers losing their jobs at the end of March, she said. Of the 28 full-time toll collectors employed by the district when the electronic switch was decided upon, 14 have either retired or transferred to jobs elsewhere in the district.
The all-electronic plan has generated some controversy among Bay Area drivers.
Do you think you'll use the electronic kiosks? Tell us in the comments.