By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Commuters, get ready to pay more. Those much-hated toll increases on state highways, bridges and tunnels take effect one week from Tuesday.

But, as political reporter Pat Warren points out, a Baltimore County lawmaker wants to shake things up.

Suzie Hawkins paid for an E-ZPass Monday, rather than the extra dollar it will cost for each trip through the Fort McHenry and Harbor tunnels.

“Especially with the gas prices going back up on the rise again, it’s really rough,” Hawkins said.

Maryland resident Jim Weglein bought his E-ZPass in Pennsylvania.

“It’s cheaper. It’s a cheaper administrative fee, so why should I bother with Maryland?” he said.

That’s the kind of pushback toll increases are generating.

“It’s horrible,” said one driver.

Effective Nov. 1, the tolls for the tunnels and Key Bridge go up from $2 to $3 in cash and the E-ZPass discount goes up by 75 cents. On the Bay Bridge, the rate goes up from $2.50 to $4 in cash but the E-ZPass rate stays the same until July 2013.

State Senator Norman Stone says the Transportation Authority was unfair when it scaled back some hikes on the Bay Bridge but not the tunnel crossings.

“It’s gonna make it rougher for folks like myself who have to use the tunnels and the bridges all the time,” Stone said.

Stone introduced a bill last week in the special session to require legislative approval for toll increases. Right now, the Transportation Authority gets first and final say. That bill got no hearing but he’ll bring it back next year.

Drivers may have already adjusted to the increases by the time the General Assembly convenes in January and a gas hike proposal already promises to take a bigger toll on drivers than the bridge and tunnel crossings.

The Transportation Authority expects to gain $90 million in the first year of the toll increases.

Comments (28)
  1. Michelle says:

    I dont understand why they need to increase the toll fees. Arent they making enough from the speed trap/work zones on the highway?

  2. Wendy says:

    The Transportation Authority stands to make $90 million a year from the increases. Our roads will still be in terrible shape with all the additional revenue.

    I think that for 1 week everyone should boycott the toll facilities.

  3. Joe says:

    If the state of Maryland would SELL the marijuana from drug busts on the highways, instead of smoking it, we wouldn’t need tolls. One recent drug bust was $300 million street value. No brainer.

    1. Q says:

      great comment. thanks for the chuckle

  4. Kristie N Tim Bonner says:

    I am turning in my M-tag & taking side streets…. My budget is tight enough now !!!

  5. KottaMan says:

    Geez, what’s that giant sucking sound? It’s another $90 million a year going from our wallets to the Md. TA.

  6. Debbie says:

    More money for tax and spend O’Malley and his cohorts to squander.

  7. Patricia Smith says:

    90 million dollars…going towards where..occupy the bridge

  8. JQP says:

    Patricia, that’s the best idea I’ve heard yet.

  9. Stupidity Rules says:

    Keep voting democratic you idiots…

    1. rob says:

      100% agree with “Stupidity”….stupid liberals

  10. Stupidity Rules and Rob are Stupid says:

    Ehrich raised the tolls too, you morons!

    1. Stupidity Rules says:

      The govenor does not raise tolls, the Transportation Department does. Read the article before you commet and show your ignorance. This state has been democratically controlled for a very long time even with a republican govenor. The liberals have given away every hard earned tax dollar they take from the working class people. They have driven business out of the state while giving entitlements to illegals just to create a voting block. Look at the last 2 elections. O’Malley wins by carrying Baltimore City and Montgomery County. What does that tell you, you moron.

      1. Stupidity Rules and Rob are Stupid says:

        And who appoints the governing body of the MTA? THE GOVERNOR! Dufus!

  11. cecilcoperson says:

    Why does the MdTA police need 3 Large boats and 30 police to guard the Route 40 ( Hatem Bridge) a 2 1/2 mile span?

  12. Bill Lasley says:

    Ehrlich may have raised tolls too, but not like this and he also didn’t give us the highest increase in sales tax in the states history so back at ya …ya moron! This type of increase fattens the pockets of an agnecy that already has better equipment and fewer responsibilites then the rest of the state’s police agencies. It’s a legal rackett!

    1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

      Bouncing Bob dodn’t have to influence the rise of tolls he tripled all other user fees such a car registration, license renewal & countless others & never had the balls to call it a tax.. At least Bob Ehrilch was smart, O’Malley is dumber than a bag of dog s….t.

      1. Tried of this Sxxt! says:

        both are worthless. Ehrilch raised property tax fees to record highs O’Take Our Money has to up that! Yet there is nothing to show for all the money taken in all the last decades of taking and spending. I want to joint Maryland law enforcement, they are the biggest racketers in this state!

  13. JW says:

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    Sounds like voting democratic.

  14. buffett33 says:

    You people are funny callin each other morons back and forth; that is really going to solve issues. We are getting a toll increase shoved up our butts no matter what we do so shut up and get over it.

  15. sheriff says:

    Ahhhhh, fresh supply of $$$ coming down the pike next week. ..Quick, fellas, lets forma search committee & figure how we can spend it. Maybe a tunnel from Tollchester to Sandy point eh? A great idea…….Where do you want to go for dinner tonight & oh, BTW, how about we select a task force & discuss this at that Jamaician resort in January.

  16. chearts77 says:

    Can someone explain to me why the Hatem Bridge tolls are twice the amount of the Bay Bridge tolls? I’ve always wondered that.

  17. haozijin says:

    Unknown message

  18. Shawn Theron says:

    $728 A YEAR COMMUTERS WILL HAVE TO PAY JUST TO GO TO WORK DOWNTOWN! that’s over a $500. A YEAR INCREASE from the current $208. yes, commuters use it most but that’s beyond highway robbery!

    why is this not part of the story?

  19. Rachel Keatts says:

    it’s hard enough to keep a decent job’with out getting laid off or loosing it completely. then having to start all over somewhere else if your lucky enough to find a job then while your in the process of loosing your house car etc.. putting strain on your family period then your wife or husband leaves you’ then hike up gas and now tolls your really making it easy on us right”?!

  20. the truth says:

    Rachel, You’re on your own, the government & especially O’Malley & his Leprechauns don’t give a fat f……k.!!

  21. Ticked Off American says:

    Instead of taking money from the “poor”, let’s cut the paychecks from the Senate’s and all the people in government. They make way more then we do, and they DON’T pay taxes. How in the hell is that right? We voted for you people to do what’s best for US (the people), NOT your pockets.

  22. Ticked Off American says:

    People need to stop being sheep and following the Sheppard. He’s leading to bankruptcy. Wake up and realize there are more of US then people in authority. If noone shows up to work, shops, buys gas, or travels where tolls are..WHAT ARE THEY GONNA DO. NOTHING……maybe people will finally realize that WE make the rules.

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