Traveling around the Bay Area is getting more expensive on Friday with a shower of new price hikes covering California’s gas tax, the Golden Gate Bridge, and BART.
For many drivers and public transit users, getting hit with new fee hikes could not come at a worse time. Gas prices remain well above $6 and inflation is driving up the cost of supermarket runs. But July 1 brings the start of the fiscal year for most government agencies and with it comes a series of price increases.
Here is how much you will pay:
• Gas tax: The state-wide gas excise tax is increasing by 5.6% or roughly 3 cents per gallon. Drivers will now pay an estimated 53.9 cents per gallon up from 51.1 cents. A fill-up on a 14-gallon vehicle will cost about 40 cents more in state taxes. California’s gas tax is the second highest in the country only behind Pennsylvania.
• Golden Gate Bridge: Crossing the 85-year-old bridge is shooting up 35 cents to $9.40 for drivers without a FasTrak account and a standard vehicle. Commuters with a FasTrak account will see tolls increase by 35 cents to $8.40. Pay-As-You-Go accounts, which are linked to license plates, will see tolls increase by $0.20 from $8.60 to $8.80. Carpool tolls are rising 35 cents from $6.05 to $6.40.
• BART: Fares across the rail system are increasing by 3.4%. For short trips, a ticket price will climb by less than 10 cents while longer trips like Antioch to downtown San Francisco will rise by around 30 cents.
Why are prices increasing now?
• All of these price hikes are annual or semi-annual and were planned before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spiked gas prices and COVID-19 upended global supply chains. But Californian’s gas tax increase has been particularly controversial as Gov. Gavin Newsom called to delay the inflation-linked gas hike and Democratic leadership in the Legislature squashed his plan, saying gas tax revenue is needed for transportation funding and meeting the state’s climate change goals.
• Instead of suspending gas taxes, as proposed by California Republicans, Newsom and Democratic lawmakers compromised on a $9.5 billion package of cashback payments. But those payments, which will range from $350 to $1,050 for most residents, are likely delayed until late October.