Open Shutter to the Past: San Francisco in Pictures – Golden Gate Bridge Toll (1955)

Welcome back to Photo Friday – my little way of taking a break from San Francisco Real Estate and instead blogging about our great City’s past instead. All photos are published with permission from the San Francisco History Center and San Francisco Public Library.

So I have been keeping up with the news about the Golden Gate Bridge toll increases, and thought I’d see if I could find some fun photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Lo and behold – I found a photo of from September of 1955 when the toll was actually decreased to $0.25!

The newscopy read:

“HERE’S GOOD NEWS FOR MOTORISTS–Gale Bei points to new toll which goes into effect on the Golden Gate bridge at 11 o’clock tonight.”

When the bridge first opened for transit in 1937, toll was 50 cents each way, $1 roundtrip, with a 5 cent charge if more than three passengers.  Over the next several years, toll slowly decreased until it had dropped to a mere $0.25 in each direction! 

Remarkably, that low toll was in place for 13 years until the policy was changed to $0.50, but that was just Southbound (like it is today).  It remained at that low price for another 6 years, until 1974 when toll started to creep upward ever faster. 

Today – the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is moving towards a plan that will (they say) decrease traffic during peak times and encourage people to either go to work earlier or later, or to take public transportation. 

However, with bus fares and ferry fares not exactly being dirt cheap, I don’t forsee North Bay dwellers giving up the convenience of their vehicles to avoid paying the increase in toll and riding taking public transit instead.  (Although I can think of lots of other reasons to take public transit, especially with the reduced impact on the environment public transport can have, the high gas prices and  the fact that the ferry is just plain fun!)

For now though, frequent bridge crossers need not worry.  The increase isn’t scheduled to kick in until September 1st, so for now, you’re free to cross for the bargain price of $5. 

If you’re reading this and dreaming about the weekend – we won’t be having record breaking temperatures, but the forecast calls for sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid 60’s, which is still nice enough to back away from the computer and get outside and play! 🙂  Have a great weekend!

Luba