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Golden Gate Bridge Toll Collection Goes Fully Automated

by Fox Van Allen on March 28, 2013

Image: Bernt Rostad, Flickr

As time passes, certain standbys of the past are forgotten in favor of something better. Payphones collect nothing but grime on city streets these days, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone still willing to sell you a pager.

Today, you can add the toll collector to the list – San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge has let 28 employees go in lieu of an entirely automated, cash- free collection system. Drivers now have two options for payment. You can sign up for a transponder linked to your bank account, or you can just blow right through the toll.

Don’t worry, though – passing through the toll without a transponder won’t get a ticket. In that situation, a camera will catch your license plate as you pass and send a bill for the $6 toll directly to your home. The cameras can catch drivers’ plates a speeds as high as 100 miles per hour.

Though the new system may be convenient, it isn’t perfect. Privacy advocates are upset over the implications of license plates – and the movements of law-abiding citizens – being tracked by the government.

What do you think: Would you like to see a system like this implemented on the toll roads you drive? Is the convenience worth the invasion into our privacy?


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