Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The drive to and from work may soon get easier for commuters along I-95, but it comes at a cost. Express lanes are going in just northeast of the city.
Now drivers will have to decide if they want to pay the price.
Meghan McCorkell has details on the new program.
The transit authority is recommending tolls that could cost drivers nearly $2.50 for a trip in the fast lane.
The crowded commute on I-95 leaves some drivers seeing red.
“I-95 north. Especially in the evening time on a Friday, it’s horrendous,” a driver said.
Now state officials are trying to alleviate some of those traffic troubles by constructing express lanes.
“The benefit is really to those people that want a reliable trip on that corridor, that are trying to get to that soccer game on time, trying to get to a doctor’s appointment,” said Bruce Gartner, Maryland Transportation Authority.
The four express lanes, two in each direction, will run along a seven-mile stretch from the 895 split to White Marsh Boulevard.
“I think it will be better for the commuters to get back and forth to work a lot quicker, a lot easier,” said Todd Harrington, driver.
But it comes at a cost. The transit authority is recommending drivers pay 25 to 35 cents a mile during peak hours, 20 to 30 cents during off peak hours and 10 to 30 cents overnight.
The express lanes won’t have a physical toll booth. Instead, the funds will be electronically deducted from your E-ZPass.
Transit officials hope the new lanes will stop some of the complaints, like this:
“In the mornings, it’s terrible. It’s bumper-to=bumper. Takes so long to get to work,” a driver said.
And put more drivers in the fast lane.
The new express lanes are set to open in December 2014.
Public hearings will be held in the months to come so that drivers can give feedback on the proposed tolls. The final toll price will be voted on this December.