he BayArea FasTrak is a toll tag, which is placed in the car for electronic collection of bridge tolls in the Bay Area. It can even be used to pay parking fees at the airport. FasTrak is a very helpful device to not always carry cash and stay in line when crossing a bridge in the Bay Area.
The story behind it:
Shortly after we arrived my sister-in-law and her boyfriend came to visit. We just bought our car the day before Christmas. We were up for a drive to Sausalito north of San Francisco crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. We crossed the bridge and enjoyed the stunning views of San Francisco from the viewing point. No tolls applied going north. We drove on to Sausalito, a cute little city with hundreds of houseboats, which are sometimes as big as a grand mason.
Travelling with four people in the car of cause we thought somebody would have cash. How much can it be crossing a bridge and anyways, can’t you pay anything by credit card in the US?
Heading back over the bridge we had the choice of “Cash” or “FasTrak” lane. We opted for cash. There was no way back anyway. Shortly before arriving at the tollbooth we checked our wallets – no one had any cash.
The woman in the toll both was nice but said: “We do not take credit cards, cash only. We will take a picture of your license plate and you get a bill of $5 toll plus $30 handling fee.” We had no choice. It was a nice little surprise.
Luckily my husband told his coworkers what had happened. It came out that is always a good thing to ask around. They recommended ordering a FasTrak the same day as the company might deduct the bridge toll from it already. It could possibly save us the handling fee. We did as told and not only saved 30 Dollars but do not have to worry about carrying cash when crossing a bridge in the Bay Area again. You do so quite often when going east or further north of San Francisco. Quite recently I discovered the possibility to pay the parking toll with FasTrak when picking somebody up from the airport. Most things are very convenient in the US!
Linda blogging from Menlo Park