Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA)
The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) was created by the California Legislature in 1997 to administer the base $1 auto toll on the San Francisco Bay Area's seven state-owned toll bridges. On Jan. 1, 1998, MTC began operations as BATA. In August 2005, the California Legislature expanded BATA’s responsibilities to include administration of all toll revenue and joint oversight of the toll bridge construction program with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission. Caltrans owns and operates the state-owned bridges.
Regional Measure 1 (RM 1)
In 1988, Bay Area voters approved Regional Measure 1, raising tolls on the state-owned bridges to a uniform $1 and pledging the proceeds to specific bridge corridor improvements. Caltrans, which owns and operates the toll bridges, is responsible for the construction of the voter-approved RM 1 projects, including a new span for the Benicia-Martinez Bridge (completed 2007), a replacement for the west span of the Carquinez Bridge (completed 2003), and widening the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge (completed 2003). BATA is responsible for funding and overseeing the RM 1 bridge program.
Regional Measure 2
With transbay travel in the Bay Area expected to increase by approximately 40 percent over the next two decades, the California Legislature in 2002 determined that new investment in the bridge corridors was needed, along with a new revenue source.
Regional Measure 2 (RM 2), which was approved by Bay Area voters in March 2004, increased tolls on the region’s state-owned bridges by $1 to fund a balanced set of transportation projects in the bridge corridors, including new mass transit options and critical highway bottleneck improvements.
The list of projects financed through RM 2 — called the “Regional Traffic Relief Plan” and included in the enabling legislation — is being financed by the $1 increase in tolls. MTC is responsible for allocating the toll, while BATA is responsible for issuing bonds and for submitting updates on the Regional Traffic Relief Plan to the state Legislature.
Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program
Since 1998, drivers on all Bay Area state-owned toll bridges have paid a $1 seismic surcharge to help finance a seismic retrofit program to strengthen and reinforce bridge structures and roadways on five of the bridges in the event of a major earthquake. On January 1, 2007 the seismic surcharge increased to $2 per vehicle, and then increased to $3 on July 1, 2010.
Operating as BATA, MTC's 19 commissioners meet monthly to give policy direction to the toll authority. Fourteen members are appointed directly by local elected officials. Two members represent regional agencies -- the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. In addition, three non-voting members have been appointed to represent federal and state transportation agencies and the federal housing department. Day-to-day staffing for BATA is provided by the Bridge and Highway Operations department of MTC.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission • 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California 94607
This page was last modified Friday July 02, 2010
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