Elec­tronic tolling now at all MDTA fa­cil­i­ties

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE -

Gover­nor Larry Ho­gan to­day an­nounced that full-time all-elec­tronic (cash­less) tolling is now per­ma­nent across Mary­land, in­clud­ing at the John F. Kennedy Me­mo­rial High­way (I-95), Fort McHenry Tun­nel (I-95), Bal­ti­more Har­bor Tun­nel (I-895), and Nice/Mid­dle­ton Bridge (US 301). With all-elec­tronic tolling, driv­ers do not stop to pay tolls. In­stead, tolls are col­lected through E-ZPass and video tolling. The sys­tem pro­vides con­ve­nience for mo­torists, less en­gine idling for bet­ter fuel ef­fi­ciency and re­duced emis­sions, de­creased con­ges­tion, and in­creased safety.

“In ad­di­tion to his­toric toll re­lief and record-break­ing progress on crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture up­dates, per­ma­nent al­l­elec­tronic tolling is the lat­est step we have taken to save mo­torists time and money,” said Gover­nor Ho­gan. “By com­bin­ing in­no­va­tion, safety, and sav­ings, this truly is a win­win for the state gov­ern­ment and for ev­ery­one who trav­els in our great state.”

The Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity (MDTA) im­ple­mented tem­po­rary al­l­elec­tronic tolling statewide in March as part of its COVID-19 re­sponse, and made all-elec­tronic tolling per­ma­nent at the Bay Bridge in May with the in­stal­la­tion of a new tolling gantry. Other MDTA fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the In­ter­county Con­nec­tor (ICC)/MD 200, I-95 Ex­press Toll Lanes in

Bal­ti­more, and the Key (I-695) and Hatem (US 40) bridges, al­ready op­er­ate un­der all-elec­tronic tolling.

“Dur­ing the COVID-19 emer­gency, all-elec­tronic tolling has been an op­er­a­tional suc­cess and has helped us pro­tect our toll col­lec­tion em­ploy­ees and the trav­el­ing pub­lic,” said MDTA Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Jim Ports. “With this sys­tem now per­ma­nent, stop­ping to pay tolls in Mary­land is a part of his­tor y.”

Un­der all-elec­tronic tolling, mo­torists who pre­vi­ously paid with

cash at the John F. Kennedy Me­mo­rial High­way, Fort McHenry Tun­nel, Bal­ti­more Har­bor Tun­nel, and the Nice/Mid­dle­ton Bridge are cur­rently as­sessed via video tolling at the cash rate. That tem­po­rary prac­tice be­gan in re­sponse to Mary­land’s COVID-19 state of emer­gency, and stan­dard video toll rates will be re­stored at a date yet to be de­ter­mined.

Mo­torists are urged to join the nearly 1.4 mil­lion driv­ers who pay the low­est tolls with E-ZPass Mary­land. Transpon­ders are free, and sign-up is avail­able 24/7 at ez­passmd.com. Mo­torists also can get E-ZPass On-the-Go transpon­ders at par­tic­i­pat­ing Gi­ant Food and Weis Mar­kets. The transpon­der

comes with $25 in pre­paid tolls for im­me­di­ate use, then users can sign up on­line for E-ZPass ser­vice. A full list of re­tail lo­ca­tions is avail­able at ez­passmd.com/en/ on­thego/lo­ca­tions.shtml.

Driv­ers will soon also have the op­tion to reg­is­ter their ve­hi­cle for a new Pay-By-Plate method that al­lows tolls to be au­to­mat­i­cally billed to credit cards at the same rate as cash toll rates for all fa­cil­i­ties, ex­cept the In­ter­county Con­nec­tor and I-95 Ex­press Toll Lanes (ETL). For the ICC and ETL, cus­tomers us­ing Pay-By-Plate will still save at least 20% on their tolls com­pared to the video toll rate. Pay-By-Plate ben­e­fits in­fre­quent toll cus­tomers as well as those who do not have

an E-ZPass ac­count.

Since 2017, the MDTA has un­der­taken ma­jor train­ing and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives to sup­port per­ma­nent toll col­lec­tion em­ploy­ees as they tran­si­tion into other po­si­tions. These em­ploy­ees are cur­rently as­sist­ing the MDTA in new ways, in­clud­ing as screen­ers at MDTA build­ing entr y points.

The MDTA E-ZPass Cus­tomer Ser­vice Cen­ters lo­cated at toll fa­cil­i­ties are op­er­at­ing at lim­ited ca­pac­ity dur­ing the COVID-19 state of emer­gency. To learn more about MDTA mea­sures to as­sist cus­tomers dur­ing the COVID-19 emer­gency, go to mdta.mary­land. gov/covid-19-re­sponse.

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