July 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 88 F

MDTA backs off cashless tolling on weekends citing reduced traffic

The temporary operation of cashless tolling at the Bay Bridge on Thursdays and Fridays – implemented in October 2019 to help minimize traffic backups during the westbound deck rehabilitation project – will end on Friday, January 31. After that date, E-ZPass® and cash will be accepted as forms of payment at the toll plaza at all times. Lower traffic volumes during the winter months make this change possible, and the return to standard tolling 24/7 will help advance the work that is underway to implement full-time, all-electronic tolling by this summer.

This month, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announced it will start removing some toll booths as part of its aggressive schedule to implement full-time, all-electronic tolling at the Bay Bridge by summer 2020. Toll lanes 3, 4 and 5 are permanently closed to allow workers to dismantle the toll booths and create wider lanes through the plaza. Motorists are reminded to obey all signs and speed limits, as the plaza will remain an active work zone.

During non-summer months, up to 90 percent of Bay Bridge drivers use E-ZPass® and, overall, 74 percent of Bay Bridge drivers are E-ZPass® customers. Discontinuing the Thursday and Friday cashless tolling gives workers more time to dismantle the booths to prepare for higher speeds through the toll plaza, instead of spending hours each week setting up and taking down temporary signage needed for these cashless tolling operations. As traffic volumes increase, MDTA will continue to evaluate traffic patterns and may re-institute limited cashless tolling during certain times if needed.

In addition to accepting E-ZPass® and cash, standard tolling operations include Video Tolling (two-axle $6), for motorists who proceed through the toll plaza without payment. Motorists are encouraged to get ready for all-electronic tolling by enrolling in E-ZPass® Maryland. Standard transponders are free, there is no monthly fee for customers with Maryland addresses, and customers pay the lowest rates at state toll facilities.

Visit ezpassmd.com to sign up today or for a list of Customer Service Centers and retail locations. The E-ZPass® Outreach Bus has expanded hours at the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Company on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. through February, with Saturday hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get your E-ZPass® “On the Go” transponder with a credit or debit card. Customers may enroll in E-ZPass® with cash or check by visiting a Customer Service Center. The Bay Bridge two-axle E-ZPass® Maryland toll rate is $2.50, and drivers with a Bay Bridge Plan pay the lowest toll at $1.40 per trip.

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