Commuters would take hit under toll plan
Marylanders who use the state's toll facilities for commuting have been exempt from increases for more than two decades as other users have had to dig deeper into their pockets. But that would change under a plan suggested by the staff of the Maryland Transportation Authority at a meeting of the board's finance committee this morning.
The staff outline the following potential changes in commuter fares, which have remained the same since 1989:
Baltimore Harbor crossings (Key Bridge, Fort McHenry Tunnel and Harbor Tunnel): The commuter toll, now 40 cents, would go to 90 cents on Oct. 1 and $1.40 on July 1, 2013. These tolls are paid in both directions.
Bay Bridge: The current $1 commuter toll, charged to eastbound users only, would go to $1.50 in October and $2.80 in 2013.
Kennedy Highway (Interstate 95 northeast of Baltimore). The current 80-cent commuter rate, charged northbound only, would go to $1.80 in October and $2.80 in 2013.
Hatem Bridge (U.S. 40 over the Susquehanna River). The current decal system would be abolished and commuters who want discounts would have to use E-ZPass. The current $10 decal for a full year's use would be replaced by a $36 annual charge. Commuters would also have to buy a transponder and pay the monthly E-ZPass fee.
Nice Bridge (U.S. 301 over the Potomac in Southern Maryland): The current 60-cent commuter toll, collected in one direction, would go to $1.20 in October and $2.10 in 2013.