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Tolls proposed for motorists visiting Treasure Island

The west span of the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island to San Francisco
Melinda Young Stuart
Flickr / Creative Commons
The west span of the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island to San Francisco

East Bay residents could face a peak hour roundtrip of 17 dollars in tolls to visit the island, located in between San Francisco and the East Bay.

The proposal by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority would not go into effect until mid-2024, if it passes. The toll revenues would help subsidize more transit options ahead of the expected population boom on Treasure Island over the next decade.

The San Francisco Chronicle reportsthat plans to add a Treasure Island toll have been in the works for more than a decade. The tolls’ projected 2024 launch coincides with efforts to develop affordable housing on the island, with the first residents moving in this month.

Under the plan, new Treasure Island residents would not be exempted from the five-dollar tolls to drive on or off the island during peak commute hours. The toll would be $2.50 for one-way tolls on weekends and during off-peak weekday times. Access to the island would still be free on weekday evenings until early morning.

There would be an exemption for the 18-hundred Treasure Island residents who have lived there since 2019. In addition, under the proposal motorists who earn less than 55 percent of the region’s median income would not have to pay the tolls.

One aim of the proposal is to discourage traffic congestion. It would also subsidize public transportation – including a ferry service – to accommodate residents who will move into the 8,000 housing units planned for Treasure Island in the next few years.

The plan is projected to generate about $33 million in toll revenues over its first five years, with operating costs amounting to a little more than half that total.

But Treasure Island residents and businesses are worried the proposed tolls could discourage visitors.