Here we go – mercy sakes alive, looks like we’ve got us a convoy, on Webster Street. Who inside? IDK, prolly a VIP from some authoritarian regime, like the Peoples Republic of somewhere or some other place where they occasionally need to roll the tanks through the capital to maintain power. Here’s the driver, with a giant black Mercedes / Chrysler Sprinter maxi-van with tinted windows:
Well, fair enough, it’s a free country over here, right? But what’s this – no license plates? Is that kosher? Could it be a violation of the California Vehicle Code Section 5200? Mmmm. Or maybe this van was bought just last week, down in the OC*?
And who’s running with flashing red and blue lights in the convoy? An escort of about eight SUVs with illegally tinted front windows and, guess what, more paper license plates:
Oh whoops, here’s an SUV with a regular plate, the only one I could see:
Anyway, I’ve never seen this kind of thing.
Stanley Roberts has the deets on this video from Davet Mohmmed:
Remember back in the day, back when you could pose a couple mannequiner in your ride to avoid paying the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge? Well, those days are over as of July 1, 2010. Why? Why not, Our Bridge needs money to pay for ferries and buses and whatnot. That’s why a $3 carpool toll is coming.
So instead of paying nothing, you’ll have $3 deducted from your Fastrak. What’s that, you don’t have the Fastrak? Well then you’re going to have to pay full price, whether you have three or more souls en tu coche or not. Fastrak, vill be (achtung, baby!) mandatory for carpoolers.
What’s that, at least you’ll be able to zip through the tollbooths with your new Fastrak? Guess again. You’re going to have to stop for a carpool inpsection so the toll-taker can count noses and do a manequin check to boot. That means that Resusci Annie isn’t going to cut it no mo.
These things are being used everywhere:
It was nice while it lasted but now it’s gone.
What kind of improved industrial light and magic animatronics will the George Lucas boys have to ccreate to continue beating the system when they come into the Presidio from points north every weekday morning?
The World Wonders.
“Effective Thursday, July 1, 2010, the Carpool Toll on the Golden Gate Bridge will be $3. To receive the carpool toll rate of $3, carpools MUST do the following:
- Have a FasTrak account in good standing and a valid FasTrak tag. The FasTrak tag must be mounted in the vehicle per instructions.
- Stop at a staffed lane so that the toll collector may validate the vehicle as a carpool.
- NOT use a FasTrak ONLY toll lane (you will be assessed the full $5 FasTrak toll if you use a FasTrak ONLY toll lane).
The news from our Metropolitan Transportation Commission is that you now have yet another reason to get a Fastrak and/or get in on a carpool. Check it out, below.
Don’t forget to look outside your window as you carpool on the Richmond-San Rafael. You won’t want to miss seeing San Francisco’s northernmost point (that private island on the left) or the B&B (can you see it on the right?) that drove Danielle Steele crazy:
Click to expand
Richmond-San Rafael, Antioch Bridges to Get Dedicated Carpool Lanes
Cash Tollpayers Must Stay Right on Richmond-San Rafael Approach
OAKLAND, Calif., June 1 — Toll plaza changes designed to speed travel for carpoolers are coming this month to the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael bridges.
Beginning in mid-June, carpoolers who travel across the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael bridges during peak commute periods will be able for the first time to take advantage of dedicated high-occupancy vehicle lanes at the far left side of the bridges’ toll plazas — eliminating the need to stop at a staffed toll booth. Carpool commuters at these bridges currently use mixed-flow cash/FasTrak lanes, and must stop briefly at a staffed toll booth for occupancy verification.
In addition to the new dedicated carpool lane, work crews will restripe the westbound Interstate 580 approach to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza to add a second FasTrak-only lane. During peak commute periods, carpoolers and other FasTrak customers will share the far left lane, while the center lane will be reserved for drivers who pay their tolls with FasTrak. Drivers who use cash to pay their toll will be restricted to the right lane of the toll plaza approach. Cash tollpayers may experience additional delays as drivers become accustomed to the new configuration.
The carpool lane changes at the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael toll plazas come several weeks before the July 1 start of a new toll schedule that includes a discounted $2.50 toll on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for carpools at all seven of the Bay Area’s state-owned toll bridges. Carpoolers must use a designated carpool lane and pay their toll with FasTrak® to qualify for the toll discount. FasTrak toll tags are available online at www.511.org or at Walgreens, Safeway and Costco locations around the Bay Area. New customers who pick up a FasTrak toll tag at a participating retailer before July 15 can get up to $10 in free tolls.
The new toll schedule also will include a $5 regular auto toll at six of the state-owned bridges; and “congestion pricing” at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, with auto tolls varying based on the day of the week and/or the time of day. Bay Bridge tolls will be set at $6 during the weekday morning and afternoon peak periods, at $4 during weekday off-peak periods, and at $5 all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges. BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the region’s state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.