Private shuttle companies could escape Golden Gate Bridge’s big-rig toll hikes 

A couple of private airport shuttle companies in the North Bay could escape some of the cost increases of the latest toll hike on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Last July, the bridge district approved a series of toll increases, including a tiered rate that is set to charge big-rig vehicles more cash for each axle they possess (this part of the toll hike plan is set to take effect July 1 of this year).

Two shuttle van companies — the Marin Airporter and the Sonoma County Airport Express — voiced concerns that their vehicles are set to be included under the per-axle plan. The two companies point to a similar program run by the Bay Area Toll Authority — which manages the seven other bridges in the region — which gives exemptions to shuttle vans that carry more than 10 passengers.

Following that example, the Golden Gate Bridge District is recommending a separate toll schedule for the two private shuttle bus companies. During regular carpool hours, the vehicles will pay the normal $3 toll, and during off-peak hours, the vehicles will pay just 50 percent of the per-axle toll charges.

The proposal will be voted on Thursday at the bridge district’s Finance Committee and could receive final authorization at Friday’s full board meeting.

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Will Reisman

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