Maryland Moves Toward Approval Of Toll Increases

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Like it or not, Maryland’s bridges and tunnels are getting more expensive to cross. On Thursday, the state got the go-ahead to hike toll rates by several dollars.

Andrea Fujii has what the state plans to do with that money—and backlash from angry drivers.

One thing is clear, tolls will be going up this fall and once again in 2013. Right now the state is trying to iron out exactly how. We have the latest proposal.

 Many drivers agree higher tolls will take a toll on their budget. 

“I’m not happy about anything doubling in price,” said Marge Wolf, of Arnold. “Everything is– gas, tolls, food.” 

Eventually, they’ll all double. The Baltimore Harbor crossings cost $2 now and will go up to $3 this fall—and then $4 each way in 2013. 

“That’s awful,” said Veronica Mundy, of Washington Village. “I guess I’ll be driving through the city.” 

The current Baltimore commuter rate is 40 cents and is set to go up to 90 cents in October 2011—and then $1.40 in the summer of 2013.

 If you take the Bay Bridge, you currently pay $3. It will go up to $5 in the fall, and then $8 in 2013. 

“The money that is collected does not go to other places,” said Beverley Swaim-Staley, Maryland Transportation Secretary. “The money that’s collected by these facilities goes right back into the facilities.” 

The State Transportation Department says the needed increases will cover improvements, such as $410 million for the three Baltimore Harbor crossings and $225 million for the Bay Bridge. 

“They are very sophisticated structures,” Swaim-Staley said. “And much of what we maintain people don’t even see; it’s underwater.” 

“With the combination of gas prices and the tolls going up, it will damper our trips to Annapolis; and we like to go to the Rams Head quite a bit,” said Barbara Clark, of Harford County.

One thing in this proposal that is brand new is an incentive to get  people to use an E-ZPass. If the proposal goes through, anyone with an E-ZPass will get a 10 percent discount off of the cash toll price.

There will be a series of public hearings this summer, and whatever increase is decided on will go into effect this fall.

  • Jonathan Chiles

    The current cost of crossing The Bay Bridge is $2.50, not 3 dollars. The reporting needs to be accurate.
    it is interesting that there have been no toll increases then all of a sudden such a drastic increase in tolls. ?
    Where are the important questions being asked?
    What about the money raised for the passed 20 years? Where do we get the numbers on what is collected and what is spent?
    Doesn’t EZ-pass now charge a monthly fee of around a dollar fifty? So a 10% discount while being charged more to have it. Why not just drop the monthly fee?
    Here is a explanation of fee’s from the EZ pass MD website. Notice Scheduled to change without notice. Keep that in mind as well.

    Nonrefundable Transponder fee: $21.00
    Monthly Account maintenance fee: $1.50
    Notice of Toll Due fee: $3.00
    Returned check fee: $25.00
    Administrative fee: $25.00
    Civil penalty: $50.00
    Additional copies of statements: $.25 per page
    All fees are subject to change without notice.
    Effective July 1, 2009

    • sick of it all

      …and my favorite part of the EZPass sign-up system: You can’t sign up for EZPass without giving them credit/debit card information and access to your funds…true, you can change that AFTER the fact, but the website doesn’t give you that information. You have to be irritated enough by this to call and find out. SO, EZPass — infamous for their antics in charging people thousands of dollars without informing them– wants full and unfettered access to your money. How about….eh…no.

      Yet another Maryland department set up to take your money…and not a little bit, a lot. The state of Maryland is disgusting…We are preparing to get out of this money pit. Anyone else ready to hit the bricks?

    • Mismanaged Funds

      I agrre with your concerns, regarding monies raised for the last 20 years, Jonathan.
      It is not as if the state has no accountants on its payroll. Prudent management of toll funds includes an investment of a portion of those funds, to offset increases in maintenance costs over time.
      It would appear, that little effort has been directed to this cause. Who knew (20 years ago) that the costs of maintenance would increase? Answer: Everyone, including those in charge of managing those funds.
      It does not surprise me, that Maryland looks to increase Tolls/Taxes (however you prefer to label them). What IS a bit of a surprise, is that the increases (once approved and enacted) will be mismangaed again; with no portion being invested for future use.
      This type of mismanagement will inevitably run the state budget into the ground. It simply cannot be (mathematically) avoided, since the tax payers are “at their limits”. Commuters will eventually seek closer jobs; many with less pay, to offset parasitic increases associated with their travel costs. Vacationers will avoid the routes with high toll rates. Both of which, will reduce the annual funds collected by the state. This, of course, will prompt additional toll increases. -Anyone seeing a pattern?
      The government’s inability to reduce its own size, and to manage its own operating costs intelligently and efficiently, will lead to the collapse of the economy, I am sorry to say. Anyone who is interested in a clear time-elapsed picture of this self-destructive phenomenon, needs only to study the fallen empires of our world’s history.
      Odd, how humans living in today’s world, cannot overcome the self destructive greeds of their past.

  • Robert Long

    Thats ok they can raise it all they want. It just means less people will use the bridges and tunnels. Traffic will just get worse through the city. Because of insane gas prices plus insane toll prices = the long way around. This state has gone to hell… It really has. They are taxing everything! I think i would feel better if a tax man showed up at my door and collected 90% of my wages because at least i know for a fact i am being robbed. And skipping the foreplay.

  • outkasts

    We need democrats who put him in office to stand up to this fool.If it makes your life easy,that friggin O will find a way to tax it?

    • Higgy

      Please folks, O’Malley has to generate more income to cover the increase in illegals coming into his sanctuary state. Besides, he and the GA are increasing their wasteful spending by some 14% and that has to covered. Incidently, Ehrlich increased some fees but not tolls.

    • Fact Finder

      Ehrlich doubled the tolls his first year in office. Funny how everyone here forgot this fact.
      Yes, this totally sucks, but to make this into a Dem/Repub argument is foolish.

      • Jackie Auburn


      • overtaxed

        I don’t remember the tolls being doubled when Ehrlich was in office. MVA fees went up, for which he will never be forgiven.

        What is significant is nobody is asking where all the toll money went if it wasn’t spent on the infrasatructure? Annapolis DEMOCRATS have stolen what was in the transportation fund and spent it elsewhere, and are in the red up to thier eyeballs. Guess who bails Annaplois out?

        So much for the public hearings…I called that out for bullsh!t weeks ago, and so it is. Free State my butt, citizens mean nothing.

  • Eric

    They all talk about the economy and how bad things are for us but they want to raise tolls and have even mentioned raising the taxes on already high gas prices. People are still losing jobs and the cost of food, diapers, and formula has gone up. How are we supposed to get into a better economy if everything goes up. I commute through the tunnel everyday and getting ready to have a second child. So this is going to hurt. I think Maryland can kiss my A**.

  • tylerjake

    I find it so interesting that this “planned” toll increase came at about the same time our beloved General Assembly passed the wonderful bill to allow illegal immigrant children FREE tuition. NOTHING in life is FREE!! Wake up everyone!! Soon you’ll be paying by the mile, like a cab!

    • Tired of red and blue lies

      Reread the articles on tuition. Indigeous individuals are being offered “IN-STATE” tuition rates only “AFTER COMPLETING 2 YEARS AT AN IN-STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE” you moron.

    • Fact Finder

      It’s not FREE tuition, you twit. It’s charging the same amount as everyone else in the state instead of charging them MORE. Know what you’re talking about before commenting.

      • sad

        Actually, the U has a set number of spots designated for out of state tuition. The State of MD SUBSIDIZES the tuition of the in state students. The illegals will take up designated out of state spots, thus decreasing income. At the same time, they will receive SUBSIDIZED tuition, like in-state students. “Fact Finder” should find some facts before assuming that the “dream act” is a “budget neutral” thing to do. It is NOT budget neutral. If you want to give your money to some illegals, go ahead. Just don’t try to force me to do so.

  • Lana

    I currently reside on the Eastern Shore but work on the Western. Now, since I have an E-Zpass and get the commuter discount it isn’t so bad right now. My carpool does about 110 miles a day round trip so gas prices have already made it a painful trip to the pumps. Now I will be shelling out $4.50 (since I have the pass I am applying the supposed discount) That is $22.50 a week I know have to find on an already tight budget.

    They keep saying the money stays at the facility but I am skeptical that the 4.5 mile span costs $0.55 per 4 axel vehicle per mile (figured on 9 miles since toll is only charged one way and no applied discount)

    Second, if they are giving a discount to E-Zpass holders in an effort to push more people to use them, they need to make sure they have the traffic lanes open and two way operation ready for the afternoon rush when operation is possible. I am sick and tired of sitting in a line of traffic waiting to be squeezed onto the bridge only to find they have closed the lane for two way operation but have not bothered to open it in time for the evening commute. Or when they do open it on time you end up crawling slowly over the bridge because more vehicles are pushed into the one lane for two way operation and some people seem to freak out at the center span and drop to 25 or 30 miles an hour. Same happens when they get to the other side and have to pass between the dreaded orange cones.


    JUST one word can sum it all up,RIPOFF, The bridge is paid for, and should be free.They can find the money somewhere else to maintain it.They are all CROOKS.

  • pigeon

    Annapolis is full of a bunch of blood sucking leaches!
    Where is all the lottery/lotto money going – who is accountable to report where the “profits” are going – certainly not to the schools or for the roads, which, way back when, they told us it was to be used for the upkeep of roads, bridges, etc.
    I dare someone to go back and check the records to prove me wrong!
    Liars, liars, pants on fire!

  • bmoregyrl

    Well I will be going thru the city to get to work or I will find another job closer to home and dont have to use my eazy pass and as for OC I will be going up and over thru Delware and so Delware can have some of my money at least I dont have to pay the high tolls. So kiss my A..

  • Car less

    Raise away Maryland, If i still drove, I would expect since the rate is doubled that the service is going to be twice as well. Oh wait who is fooling who, that aint about to happen! Just like you aint about to see me using those toll facilities. I also find it very INTERESTING, every time the government says new cars must get better fuel economy, the PRICE of gas amazingly goes UP! Im done its over, put a fork in me.



  • Rose Blankenship

    I guess the traffic going around the tunnels through the city will increase.
    It would be a cold day in hell before I paid all of that, especially being a resident of Maryland. I live in De. now.
    I always drove through the city to by pass the tolls in the past.

  • sad

    Nobody is going to be willing to pay $8 dollars a day for their commute. It is simply unaffordable. For many, that is like taking an hour of after tax income away each and every day. They will go through the city, adding pollution and congestion, and contributing to global warming as they idle at stoplights. Better plan: make it EASIER to drive shorter distances rather than harder. Shortsighted! And, I want to see the books to find out what they are doing with all the money they are already getting.

    • JQP

      no no no…. there was a tiny little burried piece of information in the news the other day about Maryland working toward banning non-hybrid vehicles. oh yes, if there is a state that will implement such a law, it is Maryland! Maryland will most assuredly deny registration of new vehicles (or make it completely unaffordable to do so) if they are not “green”.

      Personally, I think people who are truly fed up (as we are) should make a mass exodus and leave Maryland to the very very very rich and the very very very violent. Match made in heaven. We’re off to a state that gives a sugar-foot about it’s inhabitants.

  • CJ

    All of the people that moved from the western shore to the eastern shore, MOVE BACK. Nobody forced you to move over here! I am sick and tired of all the people that moved over hear and its non stop complaint after complaint about the bay bridge and the tolls. MOVE BACK NOBODY FORCED YOU TO MOVE HERE! You knew when you moved here that there was a toll bridge and that it was subject to change tolls!!!

    • ed

      CJ. Learn to write & STFU!!

    • tylerjake

      Hey CJ, people move over there because they want a better quality of life and don’t want their children in ghetto schools and surroundings.

      • CJ

        GIVE ME A BRAKE!!!!! Kent Island, Grasonville, Stevensville are nothing but little glen burnie, mead village, pioneer city EAST. Just look at all of the little want to be thugs that would be eaten alive in Baltimore City by REAL gang banger thugs. Wake up the crime and trash came from somewhere! 30 years ago it wasn’t here. I SAY BRING ON THE $8.00 TOLL! I DON’T USE THE BRIDGE SO I DON’T CARE!

        IF YOU DON’T WANT TO PAY THE TOLL THEN MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • tylerjake

      CJ, learn how to spell and the crime probably came from people like you!

      • CJ

        You know it!!!

  • Smash Crasher

    Yuk! Yuk! Democrats raising taxes, fees and toll and giving illegals subsidized education. And you feeble-minded brainwashed idiots just keep re-electing every one of them. Now sit in your own stink. You deserve to be penniless and broke.

  • hate taxes

    Its not just us on the Western shore that are going to suffer but those that benefit from us driving acrossed the bridge to get to Ocean City or points in between. I hate the idea of the higher tolls also and will not be using the tunnels unless I am in a time crunch. I already drive through the city to get to Dundalk, Essex and other areas over that way. The cost of everything is going up but are paychecks aren’t going up to help compensate, instead our family budget gets tighter and tighter with not many family outings happening.

  • T

    Why do they even bother to have public hearings? They are going to move forward with this price hike, despite how commuters feel.
    At least give us a little vaseline before you stick it to us.

    • CJ

      Thank you, somebody else with common sense. Folks we can’t re-invent the wheel! They are going to do what they are going to do and everybody can give their 2 cents and just waste their time and energy for NOTHING!

      • Jackie Auburn


    • overtaxed

      That’s the catch phrase the liberal sheeple voted for…moving forward. Those very words now sicken me.

  • craigo

    Allow people who commute at least 4-5 times a week to be given a price break. For the non-commuters i don’t mind the price but if i had to do it 5-6 times a week it could get expensive. Something has to be done to help the residents of the shore or people working accross the bridge. 40 dollars a week is expensive. For a 3 hour drive i got to new jersey shore tolls would be slightly less.

  • Mike

    What the Democrats & O’Malley are forgetting to tell everyone is that they already stole 1 billion from this account to artificially balance the budget. O’Malley is a thief & until you idiots in Maryland stop voting based on party & instead based on facts the State will never stop increasing taxes. Isn’t raising taxes the mantra of the Democratic party anyway? JUST WAIT UNTIL O’MALLEY SLIPS IN HIS 12 CENTS A GALLON GAS TAX SOON!!!!

    • overtaxed

      And WJZ and other left slanted propoganda mills will not call out the obvious lies and atrocities. The public hearings are for people to vent, not for the Democrats of this state to listen.

      And the sheeple will vote them in again, and promote O’Malley to a better job.

  • How Did We Get Here?

    There once was a time… (long, long ago) when citizens each paid a small tax to their leader.

    Along came a politician, who had a marvelously wicked idea…. “Lets impose a small tax on every dollar that they earn! The harder they work, the more money we’ll collect from their earnings.”
    “They will never submit to such a drastic measure”, said the King.
    “We will initiate the change with a tiny increase; so that they will accept it.” Said the Wise Men. “Once they accept it, we will continually increase the rate of tax until they are giving us all of what they might have saved otherwise. Soon, we will have complete control over their lives’ said the Devil.

    Don’t you just hate wicked fairy tales?

  • Steve

    Don’t complain, he’s just moving Maryland Forward!! (Sarcasm). Congratulations Maryland on receiving exactly what you asked for!

    • andy

      Maryland is moving forward with O’Malley’s dic up their a$$.

  • CB

    Those using the Bay Bridge have had it easy for years compared to those of us in Cecil County. Our tolls don’t get mentioned in the reports. We’ve been paying $5 to enter from Harford County and they want to raise that to $8. We pay $4 each way to cross in or out of Delaware. Our $5/yr. discount ticket for the Hatem Bridge is going to disappear and require a transponder and more tolls. I don’t think the Conowingo Dam on Route 1 can handle all the traffic these outrageous tolls will cause.

    • andy

      CB, ….You’re right. Those M…….Fr’s at the Delaware toll facilities are the biggest snobbish arrogant pricks I’v e ever encountered & they should wear a mask when collecting. I think their 401-k’s are tied to the amounts they can steal. $8 for going no more than a few miles through that area Blows.

  • bill

    Hey if you live north of Baltimore you can go over the Dam then cut through Elkton and avoid the tolls it is not really that much longer I have been doing it for years because the sportsman are going to get banged commuting every weekend to the eastern shore. I also would rather give the toll money to Delaware because they truly use it for the road improvements. We should have been modeling Delaware for years but we or some of us keep electing idiots. It starts in Washington and stops in Annapolis!


    I know for a fact that money was taken from the mdta in 1993 about 70 million by ole Wille Don. to help balance the budget shortfall(MISAPROPTIATION)
    So much for the money does not go to other places statement by the MDTA secratary.
    Lets find out for once and for all how much has been LOOTED from the MDTA to balance the LOOTED TREASURY OF ANNAPOLIS

  • YouStinkOmalley

    we been paying for this bridge with toll money for decades and yet it looks like a patchwork of concrete and asphalt that barely stands. now you want to raise the TAX (remember fees and taxes omalley!) to cross this bridge to cover up your failed budget skills. this state has lost jobs, you need to cut back on the gov’t supporting the tax base! you dont need 10 chiefs to watch over and approve paperwork for 5 indians! cut the gov’t not our wallets!!

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