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 that will replace the bridge's 30 full-time human tolltakers with a fully electronic system. Don't say
you didn't see this coming, folks. The existing FasTrak
subscription RFID transponder system will continue to work, and there will be a camera-based backup as well -- 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 that would otherwise go to the friendly meatbags who work there now, and should things stay on track the revamped system will debut in February of next year.