MDTA seeks public comment on toll relief proposals

MARYLAND map(Danny Yi)
The public will be able to share their thoughts with the Maryland Transportation Authority Board on proposals to lower tolls for certain vehicles, including motorcycles.

The comment period begins Aug. 1, according to a news release from the MDTA. Public comment is sought on different toll relief options.

The proposals include:

  • Pay by plate: A payment method where tolls will be automatically billed to credit cards at the same rate as customers who currently pay with cash. For the Intercounty Connector and Interstate 95 Express lanes, drivers who use this option will pay 20% less than the video toll rate. According to the MDTA, this would benefit infrequent toll customers and those who do not want a prepaid E-ZPass balance. It would be available by June 2020.
  • Lower rates for certain vehicles: With this option, tolls would be reduced by 50% for motorcycles. “Light” vehicles towing one-axle trailers would pay 25% less and those towing two-axle trailers would be cut 17%. This change would take effect September 2020.
  • Discounts for early payment: This option includes a 15% discount for video tolling drivers who pay before their invoices are mailed. This would take effect December 2020.

Comments can be submitted online starting Aug. 1. Comment cards can also be downloaded and mailed in.

Those who want to comment in person can do so at a series of nine hearings taking place in Prince George’s, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Charles, Baltimore, Harford, Cecil and Queen Anne’s counties and in Baltimore City. Dates, times and locations will be posted online.

The public comment period closes on Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. A report will be posted for additional public comment after Oct. 31. A board vote on final recommendations is scheduled for Nov. 21.

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