It’s too much. It’s not fair and it’s not right. That’s the argument from some Maryland drivers angry over plans to raise tolls across local highways.
Kelly McPherson explains hundreds of outraged drivers gave state leaders an earful.
The MDTA says this increase will help raise funds to pay off the ICC highway construction and upgrade bridges and tunnels. But drivers say they can’t afford it.
Harford and Cecil County drivers are literally singing the blues. For 35 years they’ve purchased an annual AVI decal to cross the Hatem Bridge, or route 40, to go over the Susquehanna River. It’s good for an unlimited number of trips and costs ten dollars. The MDTA wants to increase the fee to 36 dollars in October and then 72 dollars in 2013.
“My dentist is over there, we grocery shop over there. We go over there pretty often,” said one resident.
“I may take my husband to the VA five times a week sometimes,” said another woman.
“This is one community, separated by a bridge,” said an angry driver.
It’s another big turnout of angry taxpayers begging the MDTA to change the plan, which would also up the price from five dollars to six and then eight.
Crossing the Bay Bridge right now is $2.50. This plan would double the price to $5.00 then go up to $8.00 by 2013.
“These people can’t afford it. I can’t afford it,” said a tax payer.
The transportation secretary says the nine public hearings are going to impact the final increase plan which is necessary for bridge and tunnel upkeep.
“We have had some suggestions that have been made that perhaps certain classes of individuals are being hit harder than others for certain facilities. Those are the things we’re going to take into account,” she said.
Every toll in the state of Maryland is going to go up this fall. We should know the final results of what the tolls should go up to in the next few weeks.
An extra meeting was added for July 14th.