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Golden Gate Bridge plans to collect all tolls electronically by September 2012

San Francisco’s world-famous Golden Gate Bridge looks much like this right now, but come September 2012 the last of those yellow “cash” signs are scheduled to wink out. That’s because the bridge’s board of directors voted 13-2 to approve a $2.9 million plan to replace the bridge’s 30 full-time human tolltakers with an all-electronic system. The existing FasTrak subscription RFID transponder system will continue to work, and there will be a backup camera-based system — if you pass through the bridge without a FasTrak pass, bridge-mounted cameras will take a picture of your license plate and you’ll get a $6 bill in the mail. Planners estimate the move will save about $19.2 million by the year 2020 in salaries and benefits for those tolltakers, and should things stay on track the revamped system should debut in February of next year.

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