- San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is losing $300,000 a day in toll revenue after a regionwide “shelter in place” order directed residents to stay off the streets.
- The authority that governs the bridge is seeking emergency funding as a result.
- The bridge was constructed in 1933 and is one of San Francisco’s most beloved icons.
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San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge has been losing $300,000 a day in toll revenue since a three-week “shelter in place” order went into effect Tuesday across the region to contain the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.
The order directed residents to stay indoors as much as possible and to stay off the streets, except for essential travel. As a result, traffic on the world-renowned bridge has dropped by 70%, according to the San Francisco Examiner. About 22,600 vehicles crossed the bridge on March 19, 2019, between 5 and 10 a.m.
On Tuesday, when the shelter in place went into effect, only 6,700 vehicles used the bridge during that time period.
Other bridges in the Bay Area are run by the state, but the Golden Gate Bridge District oversees operations of the city’s iconic bridge. The district is asking for emergency funding to compensate for the drop in cash flow — its primary revenue is toll fare.
Despite the traffic dips, district manager Denis Mulligan told the Examiner that it’s indicative of compliance from city residents.
“What that means is people are respecting the shelter-in-place orders from public officials. That’s good news,” Mulligan told the San Francisco Examiner on Wednesday.
The authority has a $25 million reserve fund, but Golden Gate Bridge District board member Sandra Lee Fewer told the Examiner that it still needs additional funding.
“This is where the federal government really has to step in, we can’t do it alone, we are not the only community that needs help,” Fewer said. “Not only is it an icon throughout the world, it actually serves so many people in the Bay Area.”
The bridge was constructed in 1933 and has since become one of the city’s most beloved landmarks.
Ferry systems in the city, as well as BART, have also seen dips in ridership. According to BART, the transit agency will experience a $37 million loss per month in fare and parking revenue due to ridership decline, though it will continue operating throughout the order. BART is also asking for emergency funding from the federal government.