The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)’s Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) today launched a public information campaign to raise travelers’ awareness of two new programs available through the Bay Area FasTrak® customer service center to help people with overdue tolls, penalties and fees get out of debt.
Bay Area FasTrak® now offers a payment plan program for individuals with outstanding toll debt whose household income is no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (about $60,000 for a family of four). The Bay Area Toll Payment Plan is open to all with a lower income who have received toll violations on Bay Area bridges or Express Lanes. For those who qualify, violation penalties will be waived and any remaining balance of at least $100 can be paid off over time in the payment plan.
This program mirrors AB 2594, legislation by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). It is intended to provide a way for people with overdue tolls, fees and penalties to get out of debt, and it is not limited to Bay Area residents.
“The penalties added to unpaid tolls created a financial hardship for lower income drivers, especially unbanked individuals who aren’t able to get a FasTrak without a debit or credit card," Ting said of the issue. "By considering fairness and equity in our toll system, we give people a chance to settle their debt without the added charges."
Eligible participants may apply at the program website at bayareatollpaymentplan.org or by mailing or faxing a paper application. Both the website and the paper application are available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.
To ensure those who are income eligible are aware of and have assistance applying for Bay Area Toll Payment Plan, BATA is conducting extensive outreach to social services and housing agencies, as well as to dozens of community-based organizations and other human services programs.
BATA and partner toll agencies last month also began offering full or partial one-time violation penalty waivers that are available to all customers, regardless of income. BATA, the Golden Gate Bridge and MTC’s Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority unit will waive all penalties associated with toll violations on their facilities on a one-time basis. The Alameda County Transportation Commission, the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) each will waive one penalty per customer for toll violations on their Express Lane facilities.
The one-time penalty waivers will be available to customers through September 2024. To obtain a waiver or to find out if you have overdue toll violations, customers must call the Bay Area FasTrak® Customer Service center at 877-BAY-TOLL (877-229-8655) and pay all outstanding tolls and any DMV fees owed. Eligible customers who choose to enter into a payment plan must make their first payment to receive the penalty waiver.
MTC is the regional transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. BATA manages the Bay Area’s FasTrak electronic toll payment system and administers all toll revenue from the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges.