San Francisco

SF County Agency Plans Toll For Treasure Island

Spectacular views are a big draw for visitors to Treasure Island. But would you pay a toll for access?

Michael Bartell doesn't think so.

"Having to pay to get on the island, it's gonna deter people from coming where I work," Bartell said.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is planning to charge drivers a toll to get on and get off the island starting in 2021. People who call the island home say it's not fair.

"If you live here, I think it's crazy," resident Raymond Harden said. "You've gotta be considerate of the people here going back and forth."

The proposed tolls vary. The most expensive during weekday peak hours would be $3.50 to get on the island and $3.50 to get off. It drops to a dollar each way on the weekend.

Planners say island workers and residents would likely get a discount.

"We're offering one toll-free round trip per household per day for long term residents of Treasure Island as well as residents in below-market housing," said Eric Young, spokesman for the SFCTA.

Planners are hoping the tolls help prevent gridlock. As the island is built up and goes from 2,000 people to 25,000, they hope people will choose public transit.

The money from the tolls will help pay for more bus service and a ferry connecting to San Francisco.

Resident Werner Von Stein isn't buying it.

"This whole thing, they want to charge a tax," Von Stein said. "It's a fancy scheme to milk people, which they shouldn't do."

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