The Maryland Transportation Authority announced last week that it plans to
double toll rates and cut back on discounts for commercial vehicles. The revenue
generated from the increase will reportedly pay for transportation projects.
Tolls are scheduled to double Nov. 1 on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway
(Interstate 95) at Perryville, Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) across
the Susquehanna River and the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) across
the Potomac River.
Under the proposal, tolls for five-axle vehicles would jump from $8 to $16
on the JFK Highway and Hatem Bridge and from $6 to $12 on the Nice Bridge.
Tolls for passenger cars also would increase.
TMA also proposes to cut back on discounts for large trucks and other vehicles
at all seven of its toll facilities. Currently, truckers can purchase toll
tickets at discounts of 10 to 33 percent, depending on the volume of ticket
books purchased. Under the plan, the authority would stop selling toll tickets
on April 30, 2002. Tickets would be accepted through June 2002.
A special discount available for truckers at the Hatem Bridge would not be
affected. However, the discount would drop from 80 to 70 percent.
The authority is seeking public comment by Sept. 14. Comments should be sent
to Thomas L. Osborne, executive secretary, Maryland Transportation Authority,
303 Authority Drive, Baltimore, MD 21222, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.