The proliferation of electronic and photo toll collections on the nation’s roadways often poses a dilemma for rental car travelers, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is a perfect example, because it is such an iconic drive for visitors to the Bay Area.
The easiest way to deal with the problem is simply to pay the rental company for a preinstalled transponder like FasTrak or EZPass and settle up later, but it’s not always the cheapest. Typically rental firms will charge you a daily rate for having the device in your vehicle, whether you use it on toll roads or not. And besides the daily fee, you’ll also have to pay the tolls, of course.
Or you can drive without a transponder and let the toll system’s cameras snap a picture of your rental car’s license plate. The toll system will bill the rental firm, and the firm will bill you for the tolls — plus a hefty administrative fee for their troubles. It’s easy for them — they have your credit card information.
But San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge District has made other options available for travelers, according to a report by the local website SFGate.com. Persons who drive across the bridge without a transponder can pay the $7 toll online, over the phone, or at any of 130 Bay Area cash payment kiosks.
It’s a great solution for renters, because they can avoid car rental companies’ often burdensome fees and not have to decide in advance whether or not to take a transponder-equipped car. (Payment options here)
If only it were that simple on all the other toll roads around major cities.
Readers: How do you cope with local toll road collection systems when you rent a car? Post comments.
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