Toll roundup: Increases take effect in Maryland, Florida

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 7/1/2013

Tolls for five-axle trucks increased July 1, most notably in Maryland, where a truck now pays up to $15 more to cross certain bridges depending on the method of payment. Tolls have gone up in Florida while the Houston area will see an increase take effect on four roadways in September. Following is a roundup of toll activity around the country.

The Maryland Transportation Authority approved a series of toll increases for trucks in 2011, and the latest round for 2013 has taken effect. “Video toll rates” have increased to $51 on the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge on U.S. 50/301, also known as the Bay Bridge, as well as the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge on U.S. 301. The previous rate was $36. Cash tolls are now $36 for five axles on those two bridges, up from the previous rate of $24.

For the agency’s Baltimore Harbor Tunnel on I-895, Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95/I-395, and Francis Scott Key Bridge on I-695, the cash rate is now $24, up from $18, while the video toll rate is now $36, up from $27.

The Maryland Transportation Authority has also increased tolls on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway portion of I-95 and Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge on U.S. 40. Cash tolls for five-axle trucks on those facilities are now $48 per trip, up from $36, while video toll rates are now $63, up from $51.

Click here for a full rundown of new toll rates in Maryland including those for cars.

Agency spokesperson Kelly Melhem says trucking companies are eligible for discounts, starting with a 10 percent rebate for a business account that spends at least $150 per month.

Those who use the toll-by-plate method to pay their tolls on Florida’s Turnpike are now paying 2.1 percent more. Toll-by-plate rates will increase approximately the same amount each year thanks to a 2007 law that indexes toll rates to inflation.

Cash tolls in Florida increased 11.7 percent in 2012 but will not increase again until 2017 when the agency applies a five-year inflationary rate.

Click on Florida’s Turnpike toll calculator to check the new rates by region and axle configuration.

In Houston, Texas, the Harris County Toll Road Authority is slated to increase tolls later this summer on the Sam Houston Toll Road, Hardy Toll Road, Westpark Tollway and Fort Bend Parkway Extension. Tolls will not change on the Ship Channel Bridge. Click here for the new rates, which take effect Sept. 7.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission is scheduled to meet on July 15 to consider a plan to index tolls to inflation to pay for $1 billion in bonds used for improvements. An inflationary toll would likely add 2-3 percent per year to the rates.

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority had been planning to institute new tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge starting in July, but the state’s General Assembly pushed the timeline back to at least February 2013. The assembly called for a special commission to study toll-free alternatives instead.

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