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Officials May Increase Toll Prices In Maryland

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Money is scarce in Maryland’s budget and you could end up coming up with the difference.  There are now plans to increase the price of tolls across Maryland.

Andrea Fujii explains how much more you could end up paying.

Driving in Maryland is getting even more expensive and could get even worse with increased tolls.

“That’s horrible,” said one driver.

The Maryland Transportation Authority says it needs another $70 million each year to maintain roads and pay for improvement projects. 

“In order to do that, we are looking at potential toll increases that could go into effect this October,” said Cheryl Sparks, Maryland Transportation Authority.

As of now, there is no clear plan.  However, the secretary has mentioned a 75 cent increase for every toll in Maryland.

“There’s no specific timeframe or toll table being proposed at this time. It’s all concepts.  We’re looking at everything,” Sparks said.

This means some or all tolls could increase.  Another possibility is rates could go up just during peak travel times.  State legislators have considered a bill that would add an extra 10 cents per gallon of gas to help cover the $2 billion budget shortfall.  That bill is still in committee.

When given the choice between paying more for gas or tolls, drivers say they prefer a toll increase.

“I don’t want an increase in either one of those, but I guess I would pick tolls.  I just can’t handle gas going up any more,” said Kirstin Boswell.

“It doesn’t matter if we’re willing or not.  We’re going to have to pay either way.  That’s what it comes down to,” said Eric Bell.

The toll increase would apply to E-ZPass customers, too. 

There are two weeks left in the session to finalize the budget and pass the fuel tax bill.

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