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Some Want Bay Bridge To Have Only Electronic Tolls

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As many Maryland drivers know, summertime at the Bay Bridge usually means long lines, but now a bill is on the table to ease those traffic tie-ups.

Monique Griego has more on the push for electronic tolls.

Every summer, drivers flock to the Eastern Shore. That rush to the water many times means big backups at the Bay Bridge.

“Going to Ocean City, it’s really a mess during the summer,” said driver Sharon Burke.

But if a new state bill passes, drivers could soon breeze through the bridge on cruise control.

Tony McConkey is one of several delegates hoping to pass legislation that would require all toll lanes but one to go electronic by 2024. The change would allow all drivers to pass through without stopping.

“If you don’t have an E-ZPass, they simply send you a bill. They take a picture of your license plate and they mail you a bill for the fare,” McConkey said.

But not everyone is behind the bill.

While the Maryland Transportation Authority declined to go on-camera, representatives tell WJZ they have concerns about such a big commitment to an electronic system. They would like other payment options to be explored.

McConkey thinks drivers have waited long enough.

“I just wanted them to choose the Bay Bridge first rather than last,” he said.

Most drivers agree it could help congestion.

“It’s probably better, easier if you don’t have to stop,” said driver Dan Klipa.

But others fear it could lead to more toll hikes in the future.

“They’re going to take photos of your car going through if you don’t have the E-ZPass. And then they have to mail them out to you. It’s going to wind up being an extra expense,” Burke said.

Supporters of the bill presented it last week. The MdTA says it will have more of a comment if legislation moves further along.

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