“The proposed changes would help offset the costs of operating the E-ZPass system and help ensure that trucks and similar heavy vehicles bear their share of the costs for Maryland’s toll highways. Cost recovery is needed to maintain our existing level of service and to support critical capital projects statewide. With the recent economic downturn and decrease in travel, we’ve generated less revenue over the past year because our revenue is tied directly to travel habits. In fact, the Authority’s total revenue is down 6% from July to November alone.
Pending public comment or any additional information, the cost-recovery efforts could be approved on January 29 and would include an increase in the toll rates for large trucks and other multi-axle vehicles and implementation of E-ZPass service charges. Standard (two-axle) and commuter toll rates would remain the same and post-usage discounts for truckers were preserved.
If the proposal is approved, new toll rates would be effective April 15, 2009. A public notice containing this information is available at www.mdtransportationauthority.com.
The Authority also has proposed a series of administrative and service charges:
Effective March 1, 1009: Commuter ticket sales end. Last day to accept commuter tickets will be shown on the ticket book. The date will be on or before April 28, 2009.
Effective April 15, 2009: Overweight/Oversize Vehicle Permit Charge and eliminate Class 7 toll schedule.
Effective July 1, 2009:
• Commuter Plan duration will be reduced from 60 days to 45 days. • E-ZPass Account Charge: $1.50 per month per account
• E-ZPass transponder purchase for new customers and replacement devices: $21 (standard), $33 (exterior), $40 (fusion)
• Notice of Toll Due Charge: $3 + toll due
• Toll Violation Charge: increase from $15 to $25
• Shoppers and Travelers tickets sales end. The Authority will create a Bay Bridge Shoppers Plan for E-ZPass to offer the same percentage discount as existing tickets. Last day to accept Shoppers tickets will be shown on the ticket book. The date will be on or before December 31, 2009.
Members of the public may submit comments by January 27, 2009, at firstname.lastname@example.org or to:
Mr. Ronald L. Freeland
Maryland Transportation Authority
2310 Broening Highway, Suite 150
Baltimore, MD 21224.
The Authority plans to consider the matter for final action at its regular monthly public meeting on January 29, 2009. Visit www.mdtransportationauthority.com for detail.”