Details of a regional ballot measure that would raise tolls to pay for billions in Bay Area transportation improvements are beginning to fall into place after results of a new poll show that the measure has sufficient support to pass.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission took no official action Wednesday afternoon, but after a two-hour discussion it was evident that officials are ready to ask voters in nine Bay Area counties in June to approve a $3 toll increase on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges.
Consensus emerged quickly after results of a public opinion poll, presented to commission members, showed that voters are likely to support the measure, which could raise up to $4.5 billion over 30 years.
Support for a toll increase was relatively consistent among those surveyed whether the proposed boost was $1 to $2 phased in over four years or $3 spread over eight years. The toll-increase measure would need approval by a simple majority of voters, not a two-thirds supermajority required in most tax measures.
A majority of the 4,151 likely June voters said they would support all three of the potential toll-increase scenarios presented by pollsters.
“I am very pleased, in fact surprised, at the level of support, especially from my county,” said Commissioner Julie Pierce of Clayton in Contra Costa County.