Toll increase proposal expected today
Marylanders can expect to learn the specifics of a proposed $70 million revenue-raising increase at the state's toll facilities this morning as the Finance Committee of the Maryland Transportation Authority's board meets to consider a plan drawn up by the agency's professional staff.
The increase is expected to be imposed later this year to meet the expectations of the authority's bondholders and to keep up with a lengthy list of maintenance projects for the aging system -- much of which was built 50 or more years ago.
Some sacred cows could be on the menu as the panel is likely to discuss raising tolls on the Bay Bridge and the cost of commuter plans -- items that have remained essentially frozen for decades as the cost of using other toll facilities has increased.
The Finance Committee will make a recommendation to the full board, which will make the eventual decision on whther to adopt the staff's plan in whole or in part. A decision is not expected today.
Before the board can implement any plan it must hear a series of public hearings to gather comments. But while the public is unlikely to be enthusiastic about the increases, it is more likely that the board would change details of the plan rather than the overall amount to be raised. General Assembly approval is not required.
Getting There will be reporting the details live from the meeting at Point Breeze in Southeast Baltimore as they become available.