Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross : sfgate – excerpt
Four years after its implementation, the $6 toll to curb rush-hour traffic on the Bay Bridge appears to be having little, if any, effect on easing the peak-hour backup on the morning commute.
In fact, if a recent weeklong snapshot of the morning rush hour taken by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is any indication, the number of peak-hour commuters has grown to 9,000 cars per hour, which is just about the limit of what the bridge can handle.
Between April 28 and May 2, 117,059 cars and trucks passed through the Bay Bridge toll gates during the morning peak hours – an 8,949 increase over the average weekly commute before “congestive pricing” was implemented in 2010.
Under the new pricing strategy, commuters are charged $2 more between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross : sfgate
The off-hour price has stayed at $4 – a $2 savings.
The idea was to encourage drivers to cross at nonpeak hours.
The snapshot, however, shows that the increased traffic, brought on by the better economy, has remained at its old pattern – hitting 8,500 cars per hour by 6 a.m. and peaking between 6 and 8 a.m. at about 9,000 cars per hour.
Just as it did before congestive pricing.
Whatever the case, the rush-hour backups aren’t likely to go away anytime soon.
Nor is the congestive pricing – which was intended to provide relief.
“We still want to incentivize people to use the bridge on the off peak,” said MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler.
Only, in this case, the real incentive might be to just beat the inevitable backup… (more)