Should casual carpoolers pay for new Bay Bridge toll?

For dozens of years, there has been an informal code of conduct for casual carpooling: A driver stops, picks up two people — one who sits in the front, the other in the back — and drives across the Bay Bridge. Usually, the radio is turned to an NPR station.

But today’s advent of a $2.50 charge for carpools is going to upset all the old rules. Will drivers ask for money for the toll? Will passengers be willing to pay? Will more people drive their own cars?  So much is up into the air.

Queena Kim, the community editor for The Bay Citizen, went to the North Berkeley Bart station this morning to see what people were thinking. The responses may surprise you.

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  • Thomas Lord

    (Please fix the link “The Bay Citizen”)

  • tizzielish

    These responses do not surprise me. People on this video have a range of opinions, which seems about right.

    I like it that riders are largely willing to pay one dollar. It seems reasonable for drivers to ask for one dollar.

    There is still incentive for both drivers and riders: saving time and saving money. Now most will save a little less money.

    But geez, it costs about four fifty to get from North Berkeley BART to downtown SF . . going for a dollar in a car seems way cheap to me.

  • David desJardins

    The responses may surprise you.

    Really? Why? I wasted 3 minutes finding out there’s nothing the least bit surprising.

  • Principled

    I’ll have to agree with Tim on this: “the cost of gas and wear/tear are irrelevant because drivers choose to drive and would still incur the exact same costs”. Drivers could of course not pick up passengers but the alternative is $6 so don’t make it sound like you’re doing this for the passengers out of the goodness of your heart.

    Its also a matter of principle for me. I’ve been offering $1.00 and will continue to do so BUT I should have the option to give it to you, even if its a penny. If I have it and I offer it, great. If not, then suck it up, you CHOSE to drive. Granted, sharing is good and everyone should do it, but it should NOT be demanded. I can’t stand it when drivers expect it and demand it. Next time a driver asks me to pay, I’m jumping out of the car and hop into the next one. You are not entitled to my $1.00. Thank you.