Bay Area Toll Authority

Last updated
Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA)
Agency overview
Jurisdiction San Francisco Bay Area
HeadquartersBay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale St, San Francisco, California 94105
Agency executive
  • Jake Mackenzie, Chair
Parent agency Metropolitan Transportation Commission

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) was created by the California State Legislature in 1997 to administer the auto tolls on the San Francisco Bay Area's seven state-owned toll bridges. On January 1, 1998, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) — the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county region — began operations as BATA. In August 2005, the California Legislature expanded BATA's responsibilities to include administration of all toll revenue and joint oversight of the toll bridge construction program with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission.



BATA administers, programs and allocates revenues from all tolls levied on the seven state-owned toll bridges: Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond – San Rafael, San Francisco – Oakland and San Mateo – Hayward. As part of these activities, BATA funds the day-to-day operations, facilities maintenance, and administration of the bridges. BATA also funds the long-term capital improvement and rehabilitation of the bridges, including the projects mandated by Regional Measure 1 (RM 1) and the Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program.

Although it operates all the other toll bridges in the Bay Area, San Francisco's most famous bridge does not fall under its jurisdiction, as the Golden Gate Bridge is operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

Regional Measure 1

In 1988, Bay Area voters approved Regional Measure 1 (RM 1), raising tolls on the state-owned bridges to a uniform $1 and pledging the proceeds to specific bridge corridor improvements. Caltrans owns and operates the toll bridges and is responsible for the construction of the voter-approved RM 1 projects, including a new span for the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, a replacement for the west span of the Carquinez Bridge, and widening the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. BATA is responsible for funding and overseeing the RM 1 bridge program.

Regional Measure 2

With transbay travel in the Bay Area expected to increase by approximately 40 percent over the next two decades, the California Legislature in 2002 determined that new investment in the bridge corridors was needed, along with a new revenue source.

Regional Measure 2 (RM 2), which was approved by Bay Area voters in March 2004, increased tolls on the region's state-owned bridges by $1 and funds a balanced set of transportation projects in the bridge corridors, including new mass transit options and critical highway bottleneck improvements, including the Dumbarton Express. [1] [2] The project list also included funding for the Transbay Transit Center, seismic improvements and extensions for BART, Muni Metro's T Third Street, AC Transit bus service upgrades, and more. [2]

The list of projects — called the “Regional Traffic Relief Plan” and included in the enabling legislation — will be financed by the $1 increase in tolls. MTC will be responsible for allocating the toll. BATA will be responsible for issuing bonds and for submitting updates on the Regional Traffic Relief Plan to the state Legislature.

Regional Measure 3

In 2017, the California Senate passed SB 595 to put Regional Measure 3 (RM3) on the ballot in the nine Bay Area counties. [3] The expenditure plan for the project would allocate $4.45 billion to various transportation projects including funding for the San Francisco Downtown Rail Extension, fleet expansions for Muni Metro and BART, ferry service expansion, various road projects, [4] and Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit expansion. [5] RM3 was on the ballot in the June 2018 election in the nine counties and required a majority vote to pass. As of June 13, 2018, 55% of the votes in the counties were in favor, ensuring that the measure would pass once the votes are certified in July 2018. [3] A lawsuit challenging the legal status of the toll increase was filed but ultimately failed in April 2019, allowing the release of funds from the toll. [6]

Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program

Since 1998, drivers on all Bay Area state-owned bridges have paid a $1 seismic surcharge to help finance a seismic retrofit program to strengthen and reinforce bridge structures and roadways on five of the bridges in the event of a major earthquake. On January 1, 2007, the seismic surcharge increased to $2 per vehicle, and then increased to $3 on July 1, 2010. [7]

2021 Electronic Toll Collection System

In December of 2020, The Bay Area Toll Authority announced that starting in 2021, a new all-electronic toll collection system would be launched at the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay and San Mateo-Hayward bridges. This would not affect the statements of bridge customers with FasTrak® toll tags or a License Plate Account, but patrons not enrolled in these programs will now receive a monthly invoice for all toll bridge crossings. [8]

Related Research Articles

Dumbarton Bridge (California) Southernmost bridge crossing the San Francisco Bay

The Dumbarton Bridge is the southernmost of the highway bridges across San Francisco Bay in California. Carrying over 70,000 vehicles and about 118 pedestrian and bicycle crossings daily, it is the shortest bridge across San Francisco Bay at 1.63 miles. Its eastern end is in Fremont, near Newark in the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and its western end is in Menlo Park. Bridging State Route 84 across the bay, it has three lanes each way and a separated bike/pedestrian lane along its south side. Like the San Mateo Bridge to the north, power lines parallel the bridge.

San Francisco Bay Shallow estuary on the coast of California, United States

San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary in the U.S. state of California. It is surrounded by a contiguous region known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and is dominated by the large cities of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.

San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, known locally as the Bay Bridge, is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries about 260,000 vehicles a day on its two decks. It has one of the longest spans in the United States.

Carquinez Strait Tidal strait in Northern California

The Carquinez Strait is a narrow tidal strait in Northern California. It is part of the tidal estuary of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin rivers as they drain into the San Francisco Bay. The strait is eight miles (13 km) long and connects Suisun Bay, which receives the waters of the combined rivers, with San Pablo Bay, a northern extension of the San Francisco Bay.

AC Transit Public transit operator in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California

AC Transit is an Oakland-based public transit agency serving the western portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. AC Transit also operates "Transbay" routes across San Francisco Bay to San Francisco and selected areas in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. AC Transit is constituted as a special district under California law. It is governed by seven elected members. It is not a part of or under the control of Alameda or Contra Costa counties or any local jurisdictions.

Richmond–San Rafael Bridge Bridge crossing the San Francisco Bay

The Richmond–San Rafael Bridge is the northernmost of the east–west crossings of the San Francisco Bay in California, USA. Officially named after California State Senator John F. McCarthy, it bridges Interstate 580 from Richmond on the east to San Rafael on the west. It opened in 1956, replacing ferry service by the Richmond–San Rafael Ferry Company.

Transbay Tube Underwater rail tunnel for Bay Area Rapid Transits lines under San Francisco Bay

The Transbay Tube is an underwater rail tunnel that carries Bay Area Rapid Transit's four transbay lines under San Francisco Bay between the cities of San Francisco and Oakland in California. The tube is 3.6 miles (5.8 km) long; including the approaches from the nearest stations, it totals 6 miles (10 km) in length. It has a maximum depth of 135 feet (41 m) below sea level.

Carquinez Bridge Pair of bridges in the San Francisco Bay between Crockett and Vallejo, California, USA

The Carquinez Bridge is a pair of parallel bridges spanning the Carquinez Strait at the northeastern end of San Francisco Bay. They form the part of Interstate 80 between Crockett and Vallejo, California.

Benicia–Martinez Bridge

The Benicia–Martinez Bridge refers to three parallel bridges which cross the Carquinez Strait just west of Suisun Bay; the spans link Benicia, California on the north side with Martinez, California on the south.

Antioch Bridge

The Antioch Bridge is an automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian bridge in the western United States. Located in northern California, it crosses the San Joaquin River-Stockton Deepwater Shipping Channel, linking Antioch in Contra Costa County with Sherman Island in southern Sacramento County, near Rio Vista.

Dumbarton Express

Dumbarton Express is a regional public transit service in the San Francisco Bay Area connecting Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties via the Dumbarton Bridge. The Transbay bus service is provided under a consortium of five transit operators. Dumbarton Express is administered by AC Transit. It was also operated by AC Transit through 16 December 2011; MV Transportation assumed operations effective 19 December 2011.

San Francisco Bay Trail

The San Francisco Bay Trail is a bicycle and pedestrian trail that when finished will allow continuous travel around the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. As of 2020, 356 miles (573 km) of the trail have been completed. When finished, the trail will be over 500 miles (800 km) of paved and gravel paths, bike lanes, and sidewalks, linking 47 cities across nine counties and crossing seven toll bridges. It is a project of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), in collaboration with other agencies, private companies, non-profit organizations, and advocacy groups.

All Nighter (bus service)

The All Nighter is a night bus service network in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Portions of the service shadow the rapid transit and commuter rail services of BART and Caltrain, which are the major rail services between San Francisco, the East Bay, the Peninsula, and San Jose. Neither BART nor Caltrain operate owl service due to overnight track maintenance; the All Nighter network helps fill in this service gap. The slogan is, "Now transit stays up as late as you do!"

San Mateo–Hayward Bridge Road bridge across San Francisco Bay in California, United States

The San Mateo–Hayward Bridge is a bridge crossing the American state of California's San Francisco Bay, linking the San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay. The bridge's western end is in Foster City, a suburb on the eastern edge of San Mateo. The eastern end of the bridge is in Hayward. It is the longest bridge in California and the 25th longest in the world by length. The bridge is owned by the state of California, and is maintained by California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the state highway agency. Further oversight is provided by the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA).

Southern Crossing (California)

The Southern Crossing is a proposed highway structure that would span San Francisco Bay in California, somewhere south of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and north of the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge. Several proposals have been made since 1947, varying in design and specific location, but none of them have ever been implemented because of cost, environmental and other concerns.

Dumbarton Rail Bridge

The Dumbarton Rail Bridge lies just to the south of the Dumbarton road bridge. Built in 1910, the rail bridge was the first structure to span San Francisco Bay, shortening the rail route between Oakland and San Francisco by 26 miles (42 km). The last freight train traveled over the bridge in 1982, and it has been proposed since 1991 to reactivate passenger train service to relieve traffic on the road bridges, though this would entail a complete replacement of the existing bridge. Part of the western timber trestle approach collapsed in a suspected arson fire in 1998.

Dumbarton Rail Corridor

The Dumbarton Rail Corridor is a proposed transbay passenger rail line which would reuse the right-of-way that was initially constructed from 1907–1910 as the Dumbarton Cut-off. The Dumbarton Cut-off includes the first structure to span San Francisco Bay, the 1910 Dumbarton Rail Bridge, although the vintage Cut-off bridges would likely be replaced prior to activating new passenger service. Dumbarton Rail Corridor would provide service between Union City in the East Bay and Menlo Park on the Peninsula, with train service continuing to both San Francisco and San José along the existing Caltrain tracks. It has been in the planning stages since 1988, and would be the first above-ground transbay rail line since Key System electric trains stopped running on the lower deck of the Bay Bridge in 1958, and the first new transbay crossing of any kind since the completion of the Transbay Tube in 1974.

The Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) is a planned second phase of the San Francisco Transbay Transit Center (TTC). When complete, it will extend the Caltrain Peninsula Corridor commuter rail line from its current northern terminus at 4th and King via a 1.3 mi (2.1 km) tunnel. The new terminus will be near the Financial District and will provide intermodal connections to BART, Muni, Transbay AC Transit buses, and long-distance buses. In addition, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) plans to use DTX and the Caltrain-owned Peninsula Corridor for service on the CHSRA San Francisco–San Jose segment. Because DTX uses a long tunnel, current diesel locomotives are not suitable and the Caltrain Modernization Project (CalMod), which includes electrification of the line and acquisition of electrified rolling stock, is a prerequisite.

The California Toll Bridge Authority was an agency of the State of California, responsible for the building and acquisition of toll bridges, and for the management and operations of toll bridges and "highway crossings" owned by the state. It was created by legislative act in 1929. It was abolished by legislative act in 1977 and its responsibilities transferred to the newly-created California Transportation Commission, effective in 1978.


  1. "The Dumbarton Express". The Dumbarton Express. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  2. 1 2 Cabanatuan, Michael (March 4, 2004). "ELECTION 2004 / 8 transit projects to start rolling next year / BART retrofit, rail, buses, shuttles good to go". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  3. 1 2 "Regional Measure 3" . Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  4. Metropolitan Transportation Commission (2018). Regional Measure 3 Expenditure Plan (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  5. Bailey, Heather (9 May 2018). "SMART coming to Windsor, pending ballot measure". Healdsburg Tribune. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  6. Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (April 8, 2019). "Lawsuit seeking to block bridge toll hike fails". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-04-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Commission, Bay Area Toll Authority; Metropolitan Transportation. "New Year Brings New Toll Collection System to Bay Area Bridges". Retrieved 2021-08-18.