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Author Topic: Revisions to proposed Maryland toll rates  (Read 3338 times)

froggie

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Revisions to proposed Maryland toll rates
« on: September 16, 2011, 09:44:00 AM »

MdTA has further revised its toll proposals, expected to be voted on next Thursday.  Of note:

- All toll increases that were previously expected to be implemented on October 1 will now be implemented on November 1 instead.

- No change to the proposed toll rates at the Baltimore Harbor crossings ($3 this year, $4 in July '13) or the Susquehanna River crossings ($6 this year, $8 in July '13).

- At both the Bay Bridge and the Nice Bridge, the June proposal was to raise the tolls to $5 this year and $8 in July '13.  But now, the proposals are smaller...$4 this year and $6 in July '13.

- Tolls for 3- and 4-axle vehicles were revised so that they'll actually remain steady or even decrease this year, then increase in July '13.  This was done to "reduce impact on vehicles with light trailers and recreational trailers and smaller freight vehicles".  At the same time, 3- and 4-axle vehicles will be dropped from the "Post-Usage Rebate Program" and the "Supplemental Rebate Program", whatever those are.

- They still plan to incorporate a 10% discount for motorcycles and 2-axle vehicles using EZPass, though it requires having a Maryland-issued EZPass to be eligible.

- Related to that, MdTA will waive the $1.50 monthly account maintenance fee for a Maryland EZPass if you use MdTA facilities at least 3 times during the month.

- For video tolling (i.e. videoing your license plate and sending you the bill if you don't have an EZPass), instead of charging a flat $3 fee, the new plan is to charge a fee that is 150% of the base toll rate, with a minimum fee of $1 and a maximum of $15.   So, for example, for a car at the Baltimore Harbor Crossings, $3 x 150% = $4.50.  I'm not sure if this replaces the regular toll or is in addition to the regular toll...the PDF from MdTA isn't clear on it.

- For Mike Tantillo:  while they still plan on eliminating the decal system at the Hatem bridge, they now plan to phase it out by September next year instead of dropping it entirely this fall.  For the new EZPass program for the Hatem Bridge, the annual fee has also been dropped...from the previous $36/yr proposal to $10/yr at first and increasing to $20/yr in 2013.  This program requires a Maryland-issued EZPass, though.
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Michael in Philly

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Re: Revisions to proposed Maryland toll rates
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 10:11:57 AM »

Making EZPass discounts available only to people whose EZPass was issued in the right state doesn't sit well with me.  (Well, the whole thing doesn't sit well with me, of course, but that's just the natural human reaction to price increases.)  It sort of seems to defeat the purpose of the thing.

And if enough Northeastern states (or, even worse, tolling agencies) started doing this thing you'd find people juggling, say, New Jersey and New York, or Port Authority and MTA passes to get as many discounts as possible.  (For all I know this already happens.)  Then the next issue would be readers picking up the transponder that's not currently mounted in the windshield.  I once had a toll charged to my father when I was borrowing his car because the transponder, even though I'd buried it in the little storage compartment by the cupholders, was still detected.
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MASTERNC

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Re: Revisions to proposed Maryland toll rates
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 12:46:09 PM »

Making EZPass discounts available only to people whose EZPass was issued in the right state doesn't sit well with me.  (Well, the whole thing doesn't sit well with me, of course, but that's just the natural human reaction to price increases.)  It sort of seems to defeat the purpose of the thing.

And if enough Northeastern states (or, even worse, tolling agencies) started doing this thing you'd find people juggling, say, New Jersey and New York, or Port Authority and MTA passes to get as many discounts as possible. 

I think the juggling would be concentrated in NY/NJ, where the discounts around the NYC area are limited to each state's E-ZPass users.

I did send in a comment about not discounting for all E-ZPass users.  However, for as infrequent as I drive down that way (4-5 times per year), the lack of a discount does not exceed the monthly fee I would have to pay for a Maryland E-ZPass.

That said, the idea of the monthly fee waiver sounds a lot like what some banks have done with checking accounts (a certain number of transactions waives the fee).  The fee should really go away to encourage adoption by infrequent users but this definitely takes the fee burden off a lot of commuters.
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vdeane

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Re: Revisions to proposed Maryland toll rates
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 12:48:21 PM »

Yeah, the discount stuff is stupid.  There should be a federal law saying that transponder discounts should be available to all transponders accepted on a road.
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