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Sun sets on Golden Gate Bridge toll takers

After a long, slow goodbye, the Golden Gate Bridge’s toll booths will be closed and covered on Wednesday as the bridge begins to enter the 21st century.

The bridge’s all-electronic paying toll plaza will be turned on for the Wednesday morning commute giving drivers a chance for a quicker ride through the toll plaza.

Cashless tolls will save drivers commute time from having to stop and pay cash at the toll plaza, said the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, which operates the bridge. The district has been warning drivers about the change via electronic signs along Highway 101.

Drivers will need to pay the toll with either opening a FastTrak accountsigning up for a license plate account — a pay-as-you-go model — or make a one-time payment online.

Also going into effect on Wednesday is a new speed limit at the toll plaza, which was approved last week by the district’s board members. Commuters will be able to drive 25 mph instead of the 5 mph currently posted through the toll plaza.

Once the electronic toll plaza opens for business Wednesday, the district is reminding drivers not to stop at the toll plaza, and that they will send you a bill in the mail for any toll taking a snapshot of your license plate.

In case drivers missed the news about the toll plaza change, a 27-foot electronic sign above lanes three and four will be turned on Wednesday morning that reads “DO NOT STOP, AUTOMATIC TOLLING.”

The district is projected to save $16 million over the next eight years by making the switch to a cashless toll plaza.

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