Golden Gate Bridge Toll Workers' Jobs at Risk

Bridge to study going all electronic

By Jessica Greene
|  Saturday, Apr 10, 2010  |  Updated 4:00 PM PDT
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Crossing the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge could be an all-electronic expreience in a few years.

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The operators of the Golden Gate Bridge are considering a cost-cutting move that could put the bridge's 35 toll collectors out of work.

The bridge district's Board of Directors voted Friday to move forward with a study that could eventually have all tolls for crossing the span collected electronically.

The study comes as the district struggles with a $132 million budget shortfall over the next five years. Once the study is completed, officials say no final decision would be made for at least six months.

If the plan is eventually approved, all tolls on the bridge would be taken electronically by 2013. The bridge would join the list of others around the country that already use electronic systems. Cameras already installed on the bridge could snap pictures of license plates of cars that pass through without paying and violators could get a fine in the mail.

It's a sign of the times as real peoples' jobs are outsourced to smart electronics.

"Manual toll collection will be a novelty in 10 to 15 years," Kary Witt told the Marin IJ, "It is the way the industry is going."

Officials say by converting to electronic tolls, the district would save about $16 million over 10 years in salaries and benefits.

It's a sign of the times as real peoples' jobs are outsourced to smart electronics.
 

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