(KRON) — You may have suspected it, but now the data is showing the reality. Traffic has returned to the Bay Area in a big way.
However, is it back to where it was before that massive state shutdown due to the pandemic?
That horrible Bay Area traffic is certainly back, and no one is happy about it.
“It’s terrible,” said one Bay Area driver.
After a nearly two-year break due to the pandemic, Bay Area drivers are finding themselves stuck once again on roads and toll plazas.
“Traffic is back, but there is more to it than just traffic is back,” said Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) spokesperson John Goodwin. MTC is the agency that oversees all things traffic in the Bay Area.
Traffic in the toll-paying direction of the Bay Bridge, Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and Carquinez Bridge is running at least 90% of pre-pandemic levels, according to Goodwin. The San Mateo Bridge is about 80%, and the Dumbarton Bridge, which connects Menlo Park and Fremont, is at about 70%
That could be due to the fact that South Bay is more tech-centric — where workers are still in large numbers working from home or clocking a hybrid schedule.
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While motorists complain about the traffic, there could be some relief in the next few years. All Bay Area toll bridges will shift to open tolls — allowing smoother sailing instead of slow passage through narrow pathways.
The first bridge to undergo open tolls will be the Antioch Bridge, set for August 2023.
Unfortunately for the Bay Bridge drivers, those changes won’t come until 2025.