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Phase 1 South Toll Rate Range Setting Process  - American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 - Public Hearings

Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370

Toll Rate Range Setting Process

The MDTA will be involved in selecting the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 Section Developer and will have many responsibilities, including establishing the minimum and maximum toll rate ranges, setting the soft rate caps, and administering toll collection from customers.

The MDTA will also be responsible for maintaining customer accounts and providing customer service, when needed. If necessary, the MDTA, on behalf of the Maryland Department of Transportation, can issue toll revenue bonds to provide funding to transportation-related projects. They will establish an adequate operating budget and reserves for the agency.

The MDTA staff presented the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 tolling proposal to the MDTA Board on May 20, 2021 via a livestreamed meeting open to the public.  At this meeting, the MDTA Board voted to seek public comment on the tolling proposal for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 (including minimum and maximum toll rate ranges and the soft rate cap within, the escalation process, and discounts). As of May 20, 2021, all public hearing materials were made available for public review and comment in the Virtual Information Room. Information and studies used in the development of the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 tolling proposal were also posted to the webpage.

Written comments and call-in testimony through voicemail will be accepted for the official record through 5:00 PM on Thursday, August 12.  Comments may be provided by submitting an electronic comment form, downloading and emailing a completed comment form to ALB270TollSetting@mdta.maryland.gov; printing and mailing a completed comment form to Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 Toll Rate Range Public Comment, Maryland Transportation Authority, 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224; or providing call-in testimony at 855-701-1977 and leave a single voicemail that is limited to three minutes. 

On June 4, the MDTA announced public hearings for the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 tolling proposal. The MDTA will hold in-person testimony hearing on Monday, July 12, and a call-in testimony hearing on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Click here or call 888-725-0174 to register to provide testimony at a public hearing.  A quorum of the MDTA Board Members (a minimum of five MDTA Board Members) and the MDTA Chairman or his designee will be present for both in-person and call-in testimony public hearings.  The MDTA will continue to accept voicemail testimony, as well as online and written comments, from the public until 5:00 PM on August 12, 2021.

In summer 2021, the MDTA staff will present a summary and analysis of comments received to the MDTA Board Members during an open meeting conducted via livestream, and the comment summary and analysis will be posted to this webpage.  During this Board Meeting, the MDTA staff will present the recommended action (recommended toll rate ranges) for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370. The public is welcome to watch the MDTA Board Meeting via livestream.

The MDTA must accept written comments on the recommended Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 toll rate ranges for at least 10 business days after the summer 2021 Board Meeting.  There will be a second public comment period associated with this Board Meeting.

In fall 2021, the MDTA staff will present a summary and analysis of any public comments received during the second public comment period to the MDTA Board Members at an open meeting conducted via livestream, and the comment summary and analysis will be posted to this webpage.  During this meeting, the MDTA Board will vote on the final recommended toll rate ranges for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370. Before the Board votes, the public will be provided a third opportunity to comment on the final recommended toll rate ranges for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 during the MDTA Board Meeting. Pre-registration is required to comment during the MDTA Board Meeting. Click here for MDTA Board Meeting registration details.

 


Toll Rate Range Proposal

The table below provides proposed toll rate ranges in cost per mile ($/mile) for all vehicle and payment types associated with use of future High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes within Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370. The vehicle classifications, payment methods and associated multipliers are consistent with existing MDTA facilities. For example, the 3-axle light multiplier is 1.5x the 2-axle rate for the same payment type and the multiplier between Video Tolling (unregistered video) and electronic toll collection (ETC) for the same vehicle classification is 1.5x.  Tolls will be collected electronically at highway speeds, using overhead gantries, with no toll plazas or toll booths (cashless tolling).  Overhead tolling gantries will be placed within each tolling segment along Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370.  The toll rates are determined on a segment-by-segment basis and summed to form a trip. The toll rate per mile may vary within each tolling segment based on traffic conditions, resulting in higher rates in the more congested segments and lower rates in the less congested segments.

 

PROPOSED TOLL RATE RANGES, SOFT RATE CAPS, DISCOUNTS, AND FREE PASSAGE FOR VEHICLE CLASSIFICATIONS BY PAYMENT TYPE

VEHICLE
CLASSIFICATIONS

GENERAL PURPOSE LANES

HOT LANES

Payment Type

Proposed Toll Rate Ranges (2021$/mile)3

 

HOV 3+
Vanpools Carpools

 

Buses
|Motorcycles

Minimum
Toll Rate Range2

Soft Rate Cap

Maximum
Toll Rate Range

Passenger Vehicle (2-axle)

Free

Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)

 

$0.20

$1.50

$3.76

Free

Free

Motorcycle

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

3-axle Light

$0.30

$2.25

$5.64

3-axle Heavy

$0.40

$3.00

$7.53

4-axle Light

$0.51

$3.75

$9.41

4-axle Heavy

$0.61

$4.50

$11.29

5-axle

$1.21

$9.00

$22.58

6+-axle

$1.52

$11.25

$28.22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passenger Vehicle (2-axle)

Free

Pay-By-Plate (Registered Video)

(1.25x ETC)

$0.25

$1.88

$4.70

Free

Free

Motorcycle

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

3-axle Light

$0.38

$2.81

$7.05

3-axle Heavy

$0.50

$3.75

$9.41

4-axle Light

$0.64

$4.69

$11.76

4-axle Heavy

$0.76

$5.63

$14.11

5-axle

$1.51

$11.25

$28.23

6+-axle

$1.90

$14.06

$35.28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passenger Vehicle (2-axle)

Free

Video Tolling1, 4 (Unregistered Video)

(1.5x ETC)

$0.30

$2.25

$5.64

Free

Free

Motorcycle

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

3-axle Light

$0.46

$3.38

$8.47

3-axle Heavy

$0.61

$4.50

$11.29

4-axle Light

$0.76

$5.63

$14.11

4-axle Heavy

$0.91

$6.75

$16.93

5-axle

$1.82

$13.50

$33.86

6+-axle

$2.28

$16.88

$42.33

1Total unregistered video surcharge (difference between ETC toll and unregistered video toll amount) cannot exceed $15 per trip. The surcharge is subject to escalation as defined below.
2The minimum trip toll (not per mile) by payment type for all vehicle types would be $0.50 for customers using E-ZPass®, $0.63 for customers using Pay-By-Plate (Registered Video), and $0.75 for customers using Video Tolling (Unregistered Video).
3 Escalation formulas can be found at mdta.maryland.gov/ALB270TollSetting.
4 Customers can receive an early payment discount of 15% off their toll up to $5 for unregistered video trips if paid before notice is mailed.

  • The minimum toll rate is the lowest per-mile toll rate a vehicle may be charged within any tolling segment for the HOT lanes or the lowest total toll that may be charged regardless of how far a vehicle has traveled on the HOT lanes (not per mile). The minimum toll rate ensures short trips on the HOT lanes facility are charged a flat minimum toll to cover the toll capture, processing, and collection costs.  
  • The soft rate cap is the per-mile toll rate that can only be exceeded when at least one of the following thresholds are met within a given tolling segment along the HOT lanes during the preceding 5-minute period: traffic volume exceeds 1,600 passenger car equivalent vehicles per hour per lane (PCEphpl) or the average speed in a tolling segment is below 50 mph. The soft rate cap will always be lower than the maximum toll rate and can be exceeded only temporarily to provide customers who choose to pay a toll, a faster and more reliable trip. Exceeding the soft rate cap would apply to a specific toll segment under certain defined conditions, not a whole trip. The soft rate cap will only be exceeded until the throughput and speed performance targets are achieved, and then the toll rate will gradually return to the soft cap or below.  Although not standard practice in the tolling industry, the MDTA is choosing to be one of only two states in the United States to set a soft rate cap to constrain the toll rate as a protective measure for customers.  
  • The maximum toll rate is the highest per-mile toll rate that may be charged within any tolling segment for the HOT lanes. Under no circumstance will the maximum toll rate be exceeded. In extremely rare circumstances when traffic demand is very high within a given tolling segment (e.g., severe crashes or extreme weather events), the toll rate may reach the maximum toll rate. The toll rate is determined on a segment-by-segment basis. The probability is highest on the northbound portion of Phase 1 South, just north of the American Legion Bridge.
  • Escalation - The approved toll rate ranges are intended for the duration of the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 agreement (anticipated to be 50 years). For the toll rates to effectively manage demand and ensure reliability for users of the HOT lanes into the future, the maximum per mile rates, soft rate caps, and unregistered video surcharge rates will escalate over time to account for inflation, population employment, and income growth. The minimum per mile toll rate ranges and the minimum trip tolls are both subject to escalation for inflation only.  

For more detailed information on the minimum toll rate, the soft rate cap, and the maximum toll rate, please visit the Virtual Information Room.


Information and Studies

In compliance with Maryland Annotated Code Section 4-312, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is required to provide information and studies used in its analysis to justify a proposed increase in tolls. In accordance with this law, the documents below were used by MDTA staff in developing the toll rate range proposal for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370.
Due to the unique nature of the toll rate range for this project which includes a minimum, maximum, and soft cap, a wide variety of information and studies were used by MDTA staff in their analysis. As such, the documents also include a wide variety of reports, memorandums, letters, and presentations. Many of the documents are highly technical and draw upon the best information and study methodologies available related to toll rate estimation for a dynamically priced HOT lane project. The documents are dated between November 2019 and March 2021.  A detailed review of the documents shows that certain elements of the information and analysis evolved over time to support the toll rate range proposal presented to the MDTA Board on May 20, 2021.

Two of the documents [191104_Final_495270_ManagedLanesTrafficRevenueStudy-Redacted.pdf and 201112_Final_495270_ManagedLaneTollRateSoftRateCapAnalysis-Redacted.pdf] include limited redactions of transaction, traffic, and revenue information. The redactions were made to preserve the Maryland public’s interest in financial negotiations with the Phase 1 Selected Developer and in financial negotiations with Virginia related to the Bi-State Agreement. Toll rate information in these two documents, which was most important for developing the toll rate range proposal, was not redacted.

 

 

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