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Author Topic: Bay Area Bridges Going AET  (Read 226 times)

theroadwayone

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Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« on: September 14, 2019, 12:37:53 AM »

The lowdown: The seven state-owned Bay Area bridges will go to AET over the next five years.

https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/no-more-digging-for-change-plan-to-make-bay-area-bridge-tolls-all-electronic-approved/

And according to this, the I-80 bridges will be the first (Carquinez) and last (Bay Bridge, for obvious reasons) bridges to be converted:

https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article234765937.html

What's your takes on this?
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US 89

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Re: Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2019, 01:10:48 AM »

Very much not a fan of AET for many reasons, but the biggest one for me is it blatantly discriminates against rental cars. Rental car companies love to heap obscene fees and charges on drivers who unsuspectingly use an electronic toll in one of their cars. And that principle extends to any case where you're driving a car you don't own. Not to mention there's always the chance of bills being sent to the wrong owner, getting lost in snail mail, etc...

In most of the country, for rental drivers who don't feel like paying fees for tolls, there are (slower) alternate routes available. Not the case in the Bay Area, where crossing the bay or Carquinez actually requires crossing one of these toll bridges. If nothing else, there should remain at least one cash crossing of both the San Francisco Bay and Carquinez Strait, and ideally those would be the two I-80 bridges.
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jeffe

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Re: Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2019, 01:29:42 AM »

The Bay Area Transportation Authority looked at two options for AET: (1) a less expensive option to leave the toll booths in place or (2) demolishing the entire toll plaza and reducing the number of lanes to reduce the bottleneck after the plaza.

The decision was made to go "with the Open Road Tolling (ORT) option for implementing AET, which involves the construction of new overhead gantries and the demolition of toll canopies along with the installation of a new tolling system."

Quote
staff recommends implementation should begin at the Carquinez Toll Plaza because of safety concerns, available toll plaza space to allow for safe staging of construction activities, and the opportunity to repurpose the existing toll operations building. The second phase would likely include the Richmond-San Rafael and Dumbarton Bridges. The final bridge conversion would be the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge due to its size and complexity. The schedule below contains the projects necessary to implement the ORT option at all the state-owned toll bridges, which is expected to cost $55 million in BATA Rehabilitation Capital funds. We anticipate the conversion to AET/ORT can be implemented at the Carquinez Bridge by summer 2022.
Source

I think this will greatly reduce the backup at the toll plazas, especially if the number of lanes at the plaza can more closely match the number of lanes on the bridge.  The total number of toll lanes across all 7 bridges will be reduced to 40.  AET will also help at the Richmond Bridge where the toll plaza is space constrained, making access to the FasTrak lanes difficult.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 01:37:19 AM by jeffe »
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Techknow

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Re: Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 01:57:41 AM »

According to the second article, this would allow traffic to flow through toll plaza faster than 25 MPH, perhaps as fast as 55 MPH on one of the lanes at the Benicia bridge. The Bay Bridge does have metering lights so that will have to change if traffic flow is planned to go faster.

US 89 has a good point, in late July I drove from Chicago to Madison, WI and avoided I-90 in Illinois because I didn't want to rack up tolls, but added over an hour to my road trip. Fastrak only works in California, so it's less likely travelers would have a transponder they could bring with them.
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sparker

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Re: Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2019, 04:09:11 AM »

The lowdown: The seven state-owned Bay Area bridges will go to AET over the next five years.

https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/no-more-digging-for-change-plan-to-make-bay-area-bridge-tolls-all-electronic-approved/

And according to this, the I-80 bridges will be the first (Carquinez) and last (Bay Bridge, for obvious reasons) bridges to be converted:

https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article234765937.html

What's your takes on this?

Since most of my area trips are either up and down one or another side of the bay, I haven't bothered to get a Fastrak transponder (very few people I know in the San Jose area have one) -- so it looks like I'll have another reason to limit my crossings to eastbound (free direction) for the foreseeable future;  I haven't done WB across the bay except as a passenger for about 5 years now -- haven't needed to!   But if I need to head north across the Carquinez on a regular basis I'll probably break down and order Fastrak (just what I need -- another auto-pay to add to an ever-increasing list!). 
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jeffe

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Re: Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2019, 04:17:05 AM »

Fastrak only works in California, so it's less likely travelers would have a transponder they could bring with them.

It is annoying how different states use incompatible toll transponders.  The transportation bill MAP-21 required the whole country to use compatible transponders by 1 October 2016.  However, there were neither penalties nor funding for this, so it didn't happen.

The Golden Gate Bridge is building a new gantry downstream of the current toll plaza that will hold updated tolling equipment.  This is part of the requirement California now has to move the transponder technology from Title 21 (Only used in California) to the ISO/IEC 18000-63 (6C) standard which will be used in the whole US.  This will also allow for the toll booths to be removed from the Golden Gate Bridge in the future.  More info here.

I believe this switch to open road tolling for the other bridges in the Bay Area was also partially driven by the fact that all of the toll equipment has to be replaced anyway to meet the new ISO standard.

Also, now that California requires temporary plates on cars, toll evasion has dropped by 75%.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 04:19:09 AM by jeffe »
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theroadwayone

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Re: Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2019, 04:59:02 AM »

Fastrak only works in California, so it's less likely travelers would have a transponder they could bring with them.

It is annoying how different states use incompatible toll transponders.  The transportation bill MAP-21 required the whole country to use compatible transponders by 1 October 2016.  However, there were neither penalties nor funding for this, so it didn't happen.

The Golden Gate Bridge is building a new gantry downstream of the current toll plaza that will hold updated tolling equipment.  This is part of the requirement California now has to move the transponder technology from Title 21 (Only used in California) to the ISO/IEC 18000-63 (6C) standard which will be used in the whole US.  This will also allow for the toll booths to be removed from the Golden Gate Bridge in the future.  More info here.

I believe this switch to open road tolling for the other bridges in the Bay Area was also partially driven by the fact that all of the toll equipment has to be replaced anyway to meet the new ISO standard.

Also, now that California requires temporary plates on cars, toll evasion has dropped by 75%.
For what it's worth, according to this, by 2024 FasTrak transponders will be compatible with the toll systems in Utah, Colorado, and Washington, along with several other states:
https://www.itsinternational.com/categories/charging-tolling/news/california-approves-6c-electronic-toll-collection-protocol/
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sparker

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Re: Bay Area Bridges Going AET
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2019, 05:31:32 PM »

Fastrak only works in California, so it's less likely travelers would have a transponder they could bring with them.

It is annoying how different states use incompatible toll transponders.  The transportation bill MAP-21 required the whole country to use compatible transponders by 1 October 2016.  However, there were neither penalties nor funding for this, so it didn't happen.

The Golden Gate Bridge is building a new gantry downstream of the current toll plaza that will hold updated tolling equipment.  This is part of the requirement California now has to move the transponder technology from Title 21 (Only used in California) to the ISO/IEC 18000-63 (6C) standard which will be used in the whole US.  This will also allow for the toll booths to be removed from the Golden Gate Bridge in the future.  More info here.

I believe this switch to open road tolling for the other bridges in the Bay Area was also partially driven by the fact that all of the toll equipment has to be replaced anyway to meet the new ISO standard.

Also, now that California requires temporary plates on cars, toll evasion has dropped by 75%.
For what it's worth, according to this, by 2024 FasTrak transponders will be compatible with the toll systems in Utah, Colorado, and Washington, along with several other states:
https://www.itsinternational.com/categories/charging-tolling/news/california-approves-6c-electronic-toll-collection-protocol/

Good to hear; if I'm still around, that may well be the timeframe for acquiring one of their transponders.
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