Regional Measure 3 would increase the tolls on all Bay Area bridges — except the Golden Gate.
Under this plan, the tolls at every bridge would go up by $3 over the next seven years. So if you’re used to paying $6 to cross the Bay Bridge during rush hour — surprise! Next year it would cost $7. And by 2025 — $9.
In exchange, local agencies would invest $4.5 billion dollars in projects that supporters say will reduce traffic.
About two-thirds of the money would go into public transit — like new BART cars, extending BART, extending CalTrain, adding more ferry service.
Almost all the rest of the money would go to highway projects.
Every voter in the nine-county Bay Area gets to vote on the plan.
This plan is supported by regional business associations, labor unions, transit groups, and a lot of local Democratic clubs.
They all argue that the Bay Area is growing, traffic is already horrible, and we need to do something to reduce congestion.
Opposition to the measure comes in two separate camps:
One camp says the tolls are an unfair burden on drivers, some of whom don't have the option of taking public transit.
The other camp says the measure doesn’t support enough public transit, and shared rides.
What those two camps have in common is that they say the spending plan was cobbled together to please lawmakers, and won’t really make a difference with traffic.
So if you want to support transportation projects by paying higher bridge tolls, vote for Regional Measure 3. And if you don’t like that plan, well, vote against it.