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**ONE-WEEK COUNTDOWN** ALL-ELECTRONIC TOLL COLLECTION BEGINS OCTOBER 30 AT FRANCIS SCOTT KEY BRIDGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 23, 2019

 

**ONE-WEEK COUNTDOWN**

ALL-ELECTRONIC TOLL COLLECTION

BEGINS OCTOBER 30 AT FRANCIS SCOTT KEY BRIDGE

Drivers Encouraged to Join E-ZPass®

 

BALTIMORE, MD – There’s one week to go before the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) begins cashless toll collection at the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) in Baltimore. Prior to the morning rush hour on Wednesday, October 30, all-electronic toll collection will begin at the Key Bridge via E-ZPass® and Video Tolling.

 

With all-electronic tolling, cash will no longer be accepted as payment at the Key Bridge. New overhead tolling structures, or gantries, have been installed to collect tolls electronically. The existing toll plaza will still be up until 2021. Drivers will continue through the plaza without stopping and must obey all roadway signs and speed limits, as the plaza will remain an active work zone.

 

Officials announced the move to all-electronic tolling at the Key Bridge and the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) in northeast Maryland this past spring. All-electronic toll collection began at the Hatem Bridge on October 16. In spring 2021, work at these bridges will be completed, including demolition of the toll plazas. At that time, motorists will be able to travel at highway speeds.

 

Cashless tolling eases congestion and results in less idling time, which allows better fuel efficiency and reduced vehicle emissions. It is anticipated that cashless tolling at the Hatem and Key bridges will save $1 million in fuel and 44,000 hours each year. The change also increases driver safety and results in a safer work environment for employees. 

 

At the Key Bridge, 80 percent of drivers are E-ZPass® users. E-ZPass® Maryland customers receive significant discounts at most state toll facilities. At the Key Bridge, the two-axle E-ZPass® Maryland toll rate is $3, and the two-axle Video Toll rate is $6. E-ZPass® commuter plans are available. Due to higher processing costs, the Video Toll rate is 50 percent above the base rate with a maximum of $15 above the base rates.

 

Standard E-ZPass® transponders are free and there is no monthly fee for customers with Maryland addresses. Interested motorists can sign up for E-ZPass® Maryland at ezpassmd.com or by visiting E-ZPass® Maryland Customer Service Centers at MDTA toll facilities, at many Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) locations and at retail partners. A full list of locations is available at ezpassmd.com.

 

While the schedule has not yet been finalized, additional MDTA facilities will be all-electronic in the future. To help traffic flow through the toll plaza during the westbound deck rehabilitation project, the MDTA has begun cashless tolling at the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) on Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings. In addition, MDTA is developing a construction timeline to implement all-electronic tolling full-time at the Bay Bridge.

 

MDTA is self-sufficient and receives no gas tax, motor vehicle fees or other revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund. MDTA facilities are fully financed, operated, maintained, improved and protected through toll revenues paid by customers using those facilities. 

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