Which Bay Area bridges have tolls


Last updated: March 11, 2019

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The good news:

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in and out of town is free for pedestrians and cyclists!

The journey over the Golden Gate Bridge is toll-free when going out of town! When entering the city there is a toll of US $ 8 per vehicle (2 axles).

All ticket booths at the toll station have been closed since March 27, 2013 and the bridge toll can, with one exception, only be cashless.

That’s the Golden Gate Bridge the only bridge in the Bay Area where the toll can only be paid cashless.

At all other bridges you can still pay "cash" or with a credit card at the ticket booths.

There are various options for cashless (electronic) payment and some are still being planned ...

For us tourists there is the possibility to pay this toll in different ways. So that you have a small overview of the options available to you, I have described some of them here. Simply choose the one that is most comfortable for you.

My opinion on the subject of bridge tolls:

A trip to the USA costs a lot of money and, if we are honest with ourselves, we often spend far too much money on useless things. That's why I make it as easy as possible for myself to pay the toll and before I go to the PC Invest time or me on site somewhere at a kiosk "hire" have to pay the bridge toll in advance ...

... I'd rather go without a coffee or a beer and pay z. B. at Alamo US $ 3.95 extra and I don't have to worry about anything anymore. So I can better spend my time on vacation enjoy And with all the travel expenses, this small amount certainly does not matter! When I rent a car in San Francisco, I drive a lot through the area and every now and then over one of the bridges.

Therefore, in this case, I choose the method described here for myself!

Who his vehicle for less than 5 bridge crossings sets in or it not in San Francisco rents (many take over the vehicle in Las Vegas or Los Angeles) then i recommend Advance payment by phone In any case, when you pick up the vehicle in LV or LA, you should also ask about the "Bridge-Toll-Options" because the vehicles there are more and more equipped accordingly.

As always, the addition: "That should / must stop everyone according to their own "taste" decide!"

The 8 toll bridges in the San Francisco

I am mainly concerned with the tolls on the Golden Gate and the San Francisco-Oakland-Bay-Bridge, but in the greater San Francisco area there are tolls on a total of 8 bridges. For your information here is a list (clockwise):

  • Golden Gate Bridge

  • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

  • Carquinez Bridge

  • Benicia-Martinez Bridge

  • Antioch Bridge

  • Dumbarton Bridge

  • San Mateo Hayward Bridge

  • San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

The different methods of paying your toll

Prepayment by phone:

This method is worthwhile for 1 to 4 crossings. To do this, call the free number 1-877-229-8655 and give your credit card number and the registration number of your rental car. You must also provide the date of your crossing (s). The then valid "toll fee" will be debited from your account for every crossing into the city.

Please have a pen or pencil ready because you will receive an account number at the end of your call. and a confirmation no. Your account will then be activated for the days you specified by telephone and you no longer need to worry about anything.

This option is used by many tourists and unfortunately there are often very long waiting times. Good luck!

Payment over the Internet by credit card:

Applies to payments within a certain period of time and only with specification of the license plate, i.e. only after the vehicle has been picked up.

With Bay Area Fastrak you can register after picking up the rental car, stating the vehicle registration number, and pay the tolls for your crossings with your credit card. You have to enter the date by which you will have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge or one of the other bridges mentioned here. The crossings are then in a period of up to 30 days in front this date will be debited from your credit card.

If you cross the bridges after this date entered by you, the crossing is considered unpaid and will be billed to the rental company. But since he knows from the license plate that you were the renter of the vehicle on the date, he will get the amount plus a hefty processing fee from you ...

Example: You are from 1.7. until 10.7. in San Francisco and want to cross the Golden Gate Bridge on any day of your stay, then you could use 7/10 as the date. enter. Theoretically, you could then in the period from 10.6. until 10.7. cross the bridges. I recommend that you always state the return date of your rental car as the last date. Afterwards nobody can cross the bridges at your own expense!

The most convenient method (for me):

When you pick up your rental car, you agree to use the electronic procedure of the rental company. (This is currently only possible at the San Francisco airport and at the rental stations in the city) This will then be activated and your tolls will be electronically registered and read out after you have returned your rental car. The tolls will then be billed to the credit card number you provided.

Danger:Different distributors also require different fees!

I always rent via Billiger-Mietwagen.de and look for a vehicle from there Alamo out. I always pick up my rental car at the arrival airport and thus use another Alamo advantage and can choose a vehicle in the category I have booked in the Choiceline.

At Alamo, the "toll story" goes as follows and without any problems:

The following information relates to the vehicle pick-up at the airport in San Francisco. At many (not to say at most) other stations or cities, this option is often not available or the employees are not (yet) informed. That is sad and almost unbelievable, but there is also that in Ami country ...

You only have to agree to a "TollPass Convenience Charge" when you pick up the Alamo vehicle. A small device with a chip inside the car you rent will then be activated.
The tolls you have to pay are then saved on this chip directly at the respective toll station. This TollPass costs US $ 3.95 for every day that you pass toll stations (also valid on other bridges, such as the San Francisco-Oakland-Bay-Bridge), a maximum of US $ 19.75 per total rental period. This means that you only pay for a maximum of 5 daily assignments. For the remaining toll payments, only the toll will be charged, but no further fees will be charged by Alamo.

In plain language: If you have to pay tolls on e.g. 10 days, you will only get a maximum of 5 daily rates of US $ 3.95 A maximum of US $ 19.75 in total "TollPass" fees (plus the applicable tolls) charged! I think this is an acceptable matter, especially since it applies to all 8 bridges in the Bay Area and you can use the faster toll express lane there.

Danger: With the TollPass you absolutely have to drive through the lanes specially marked with "Maut-Express-Lane" through the toll stations. From March 27, 2013, there will only be "Toll Express Lanes" at the Golden Gate Bridge.

So that there are no misunderstandings here either ... You can of course also rent a vehicle from, Avis, Budged, National, Enterprise ... etc. at Billiger-Mietwagen.de. I can also recommend companies such as DERTOUR, CarDelMar, DriveFTI, Holiday Autos, AutoEurope, Auto Escape, SunnyCars that are offered on the Billiger- Autovermietung.de search engine. They all really often offer sensational prices. At Billiger-Mietwagen.de you are always right!

Dollar rental cars are also okay, only with the fees for the toll system ... maybe you should think again ...

Cash payment:

The most expensive method:

For information only, because I would NEVER recommend this to you!

You don't care about anything and just drive through the toll booths. Your license plate will be registered automatically and the vehicle owner will be sent an invoice for the toll fee after 30 days. It doesn't cost a cent extra ... but ...

Since the rental car companies also know who the vehicle renter was at the calculated time, he will charge you these tolls retrospectively and rightly. That means extra work for the administration and it costs a lot of money today ... But you have to accept that they then collect a fat processing fee.

Other less interesting options for us short-term tourists

Payment after sending the invoice 30 days after crossing:

Since the invoice recipient is always the owner of the vehicle, which is also the case in the USA. The person in whose name the license plate is registered, this is only possible for you if you are driving your own car. In the case of Otto-Normal-Tourist, the invoice goes to the rental car company because the owner of the car is determined by the license plate and he is then looking forward to charging you the processing fee in addition to the toll ...

Opening a "FasTrak Account":

This account is a pre-paid account in which you have to pay your toll in advance. Before opening this account, you must register under FasTrak Account. To open an account, US $ 25.00 is due, of which US $ 20.00 is used as a deposit for the electronic part (will be reimbursed later, when returned) and US $ 6.00 for the first toll. On the other hand, each toll charge for passing the Golden Gate Bridge costs you around 10% less. The toll charges will then be charged to this account after use.

So make sure that there is always enough money in this account, otherwise the price advantage turns into a price disadvantage. In my opinion this is only something for frequent travelers and less for us tourists, unless someone can fulfill "my" dream and live in San Francisco for 3 months or more ...

Opening a "License Plate Account":

If you have settled or want to settle in San Francisco and you own several vehicles, you can use this to register up to 5 vehicle registration numbers and the toll will be debited directly from your credit card with each pass, with reference to the registration number. With this "License Plate Account": there are no additional fees, but this is certainly not intended for us tourists ...

However you want to do it, a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge is something very special for everyone and whether it will cost a dollar more or less ... it will certainly not matter at this moment!

I wish you as much fun as I had every time I crossed "my" Golden Gate Bridge and will hopefully soon have it again!

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Thanks a lot for this!