- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Crossing San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge would remain free to pedestrians and bicyclists under a bill advancing through the Legislature.

AB40 by Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco would prohibit pedestrian and bike tolls on state-owned toll bridges.

It comes as the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District considers charging sidewalk fees to help close its budget deficit.

Ting says the tolls would bring in less than $2 million annually while making the Golden Gate the only bridge to levy such charges.

He and Assemblyman Marc Levine, a Democrat from neighboring San Rafael, say the charges also run counter to California’s goal of helping the environment by encouraging people not to drive.

The measure passed the Assembly 56-11 on Tuesday and now goes to the Senate.

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