By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Transportation Authority raises the tolls on bridges and tunnels. Although public opinion caused the board to scale back on its original plans, drivers say the new increases are still too high.

Pat Warren reports on the hikes.

Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley says she knows it’s a very tough time and it’s hard for the public.

“It’s the worst time in America, as far as the economy is concerned. People need to keep money in their pockets,” one driver said.

The first phase of toll hikes starts Nov. 1. The Fort McHenry, Harbor tunnels and the Key Bridge tolls will increase from $2 to $3.

The commuter E-ZPass rate stays the same until July 2013.

On I-95 between Baltimore and the Delaware State line and on the Hatem Bridge, the toll goes up from $5 to $6 cash. The E-ZPass raises from 80 cents to $1.50.

Special exceptions are made for the Hatem Bridge only.

Swaim-Staley says commitments were made and the bills are due. There was no choice, but to raise tolls.

“The state needs 200 million to stay current on its debt service to keep Maryland moving,” Swaim-Staley said.

Swaim-Staley says the money is needed to pay for the infrastructure to keep the transportation systems strong, and to provide for the new systems needed to encourage economic development and decrease some of Maryland’s congestion problems.

At least one lawmaker is outraged by the hike.

Eastern Shore senator E.J. Pipkin says the toll increases will hurt the economy. He says it’s a shame on the board for implementing the hikes.

Phase two of the hikes includes raising the Bay Bridge toll to $6 in 2013.

The first full year of increases at the bridges and tunnels will generate $90 million. When drivers get used to that, the rates will go up again.

New increases apply to trucks and trailers, as well. The second series of hikes takes effect in 2013.

Comments (28)
  1. willie joe says:

    Greedy spending bunch of pricks.

    1. Stupidity Rules says:

      I agree willie. Bet your a$$ they do not pay tolls when they use those same facilities.

  2. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    Yesterday it was said in the news the the State of Maryland has a 190Million that it didn’t know about. . . can’t this money be used to curb this tax hike!!!

    1. tylerjake says:

      No, they will instead use this money for more welfare.

  3. Eileen says:

    More and more people here on the Eastern Shore are shopping in Delaware instead of Annapolis. No bridge toll, very little traffic and no sales tax. I go once a month and buy everything I need except produce and milk. Sometimes two or three of us go together to save on gas.

    1. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

      I do the same thing. I take my money else where and to h*ll with Marylands high taxes and spending issues. Keep on voting them in western shore. I will continue to get all the benefits while you pay for what you voted for!

    2. Mr. Right says:

      They will find away to put a toll road there, just give them time!

  4. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    These wankers already have the money spent & are planning the next toll increase. Meanwhile we sit like lambs waiting to be slaughtered & say nothing. I’d like to brick the state capitol. I don’t want my monies going to Casa De Myao under another name.

  5. susan says:

    What are they doing with the money that they got approx. 2 yrs. ago? Wasn’t that for repairs and projects? Do not start projects or build anything that you can not afford to do. You are probally right Stupidity, that they do not pay of if they do it is very little.

  6. Shawn Theron says:

    $728. A YEAR… as of 2013 commuters have to pay to go thru the same tunnels. (don’t know why this isn’t part of the story)

    $208. a year commuters have to pay to go thru the tunnels now.

    they are making insane money off commuters… along with everyone else.

  7. Melanie Estep Maddox says:

    Typical Md., raping the wallet!


    How much money was looted form the tolls facility to prop up the General fund and never put back. Check it out. HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS over the years.

  9. Michele says:

    Yea,where’s all that unspent money that was never accounted for?And the workers are not getting raises and lowering benefits.They are the ones maintaining them so they can even be used.

  10. Would You Expect Any Diff? says:

    All this money is going to Owe Malley’s 140K trips to China. It wont even make it to the transportation fund again.

  11. Rich says:

    looks like some people wont get re-elected…. i still cant believe that peopel actually voted for O’malley. are you sta-sta-sta-stupid boy?

  12. sheriff says:

    Rich, O’Malley can’t get re-elected by law. He’s eyeing a Senate seat. Do I hear Bab’s porky pig Milkulski stepping down?

    1. Steve says:

      With a little hope and prayer, Owe’Failure won’t get that senate seat he is after. Thankfully, we are reaching the end of that clowns governorship. I can’t wait to see him gone.

      1. tylerjake says:

        He’ll get it. Many people in this state just look for the “D” on the ballot and VOTE! If it had “turd” or “666” next to the mighty “D” it would still win the election.

  13. tylerjake says:

    Of course! More revenue is needed for the expansive welfare and “disability” programs in this “Democratic People’s Republic of Maryland!”

  14. Reform the System says:

    It is no surprise, that the “solution” to public objections to the Toll increases, was to divide the increase into smaller increases.

    This is how our government squeezes us financially, and it is catching on with every one of the organizations that rely upon our incomes for their continued well-being.

    Since commuters are in a position of “having to cross the bridges, in order to earn a living”, they are under the complete control of the bridge authorities, and will pay dearly for the right of passage.

    A percentage will seek to avoid the bridges, and curtail their travels, if they have the option to do so. This will reduce the revenue that is collected at the toll booths. As a result, they will “revise” the increases planned for the future, and raise the proposed toll rates to compensate for the losses. Again, those who have no choice, but to cross the bridges, will pay dearly. It is a nasty cycle, with no escape for the working class.

    1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

      The main reason the toll increases have occurred is because of the boon doogle ICC connector road that was never needed but cost 1billion to build & there are not enough commuters that use it to satisfy the cost. Poor souls using the Tatem bridge, the tunnels & Bay bridge are having it jammed up their a$$ by the toll authority to do so.

  15. Mike Jones says:

    This is the final straw. Delaware here I come!!!

  16. Mr. Right says:

    that’s what Obamacrats do, bleed the public dry instead of being fiscally responsible in their spending; they just continue to suck every nickle, dime, and penny that they can, regardless of the fact that they are supposed to be representing the people! but in stead they chose policy’s that are antithetical to the very people they are suppose to representing . that is why so many people are joining the Tea party which stands for ( TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY) And I Am willing to bet their is a number of closet Tea baggers Growing in the state of md

  17. sheriff says:

    If the tea party crowd that has been showing up @ the recent Republican debates takes control of this country then we are no better off than a Russia, Cuba or any other third world nation…….Heartless blood thirsty murderers.

  18. freis77 says:

    got no money, can’t tax me homeless people. no jobs, no taxes. maryland at work.

  19. W. Smith says:

    If they need more money in the Transpotaion Fund, which they wouldn’t need if they stopped rapeing the funds for pet projects, why not make additional toll roads? That way the people actually useing the road would be paying the tolls. It’s my understanding the current tolls are paying for the current bridges and tunnel needs.

    Why do the politicians think they can SPEND SPEND SPEND? Lets take care of our needs, not our wants. If we quit sending billions of our tax dollars overseas, we would be out of this mess in short order.

    America First!!!!!

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