By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some relief ahead for commuters. A reduction in state tolls is in the works.

Pat Warren reports you’ll see the cost of crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge go down July 1.

The Bay Bridge toll goes down and you’ll get a better bargain on E-ZPass.

Maryland drivers trying to find a way around toll increases…

“I just can’t see with the big hike they just made on those tolls, it’s not worth it,” said Sharon Burke.

…Can look forward to a less expensive trip.

“When is it going to be?” asked one driver. “Thank god. We need it. We need it.”

Effective July 1, the Bay Bridge toll drops from $6 to $4, drivers get a 25 percent discount for using E-ZPass–up from ten percent–and the $1.50 E-ZPass monthly maintenance fee will be eliminated.

“I think people are going to be excited about that all over the state. Every single toll facility in the state. Tolls are going to go down. It’s going to make people’s summers a little better,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

The roll reductions have drawn some criticism from lawmakers who insist the money is needed for maintenance on highways, bridges and tunnels. Jeff Hess sees the sense in that.

“The state is always in need of money,” he said.

But Governor Hogan says tolls aren’t the way to get it.

“I’ve been saying that we’ve been overcharging people for too long and people seem to be pretty excited about it–$260 million for the tax relief, and those tolls are like a regressive tax that hurt people at the lowest end of the income scale the most, so, we’re happy to do it,” the governor said.

This is the first time state tolls have been reduced in more than 50 years.

The state transportation secretary says the toll reduction will not have an impact on maintenance.

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