BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Drivers now pay more to pass through Maryland’s toll booths, and the record increases are hitting some cash-strapped drivers where it hurts.

Derek Valcourt has more on the increase and the not-so-happy drivers paying them.

Drivers pulling up to the toll booths are coming face-to-face with what amounts to the largest package of toll increases in Maryland history.

Higher tolls are the new reality in Maryland, and many drivers like Harford County’s Lisa Kelly aren’t happy.

“The extra money that I have to put out for it is crazy,” Kelly said.

Here’s the breakdown: tolls for the tunnels and the Key Bridge go up from $2 to $3 cash with the commuter rate increasing from 40 cents to 75 cents. The cost to cross the Bay Bridge jumps from $2.50 to $4 cash. The E-ZPass commuter rate stays the same until July 2013.  And on 1-95 Kennedy Highway and on the Hatem Bridge, the toll goes up from $5 to $6.

These increases have drivers looking for any discount they can get.

“The hike on the toll actually drove me down here to get an E-ZPass,” said Kenya Chalmers.

State officials insist they need these increases to pay for the maintenance and upkeep on their aging bridges, tunnels and toll facilities.

The higher tolls will also help cover costs for the I-95 express lane currently under construction north of Baltimore and help pay debts for the $2.5 billion Inter-County Connector highway linking 95 and 270.

That’s reason some drivers don’t mind forking out more.

“If you want to have good roads you’ve got to pay for it,” said James Pitman.

“It’s a disaster, said Maurice Watkins. “It’s a disgrace.”

But daily Harbor Tunnel users like Watkins say the toll hike adds an extra $40 to his commute each month.

“Bad enough my income is not going up, that stays the same. And my job is thinking about furloughing and laying off.  Yet the state is raising the toll prices, which is outrageous,” Watkins said.

The MdTA says the new tolls will generate $90 million in revenue for the state in the first year alone.

Phase two of the toll increases will begin in 2013.

Comments (20)
  1. I might catch the bus instead now. Probably cheaper.

  2. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    I wouldn’t want to be collecting tolls today, lot’s of abuse.

    1. Most likely!

      Bernard, do you have a blog? Your name isn’t linked to it so you are missing out on visitors. Easily fixed:

      Dashboard > Users > Personal Settings. Scroll right down to the website box and put in the full address of your blog. Save.


  3. dp says:

    STOP IT WITH THOSE INCREASES!!!! I very much look forward to moving out of Maryland when I retire from job my reason for living here is for.

  4. Gman says:

    I watched a woman this morning pick up the Sun and see the story about the increase in tolls, she looked like she never even heard of it…. wake up people……

  5. the truth says:

    It’s never about cutting the size of government or bloated projects. It is about feeding the beast & that is big government. Tax & spend siphon off one fund & use the monies for s….t like Casa De Mayo & illegals medical & schooling. Yeah, raid the transportation fund & pay for pet projects then raise the tolls to replenish.

  6. susan says:

    You are right the truth, it does seem that every increase the state gets it’s going other places instead of it’s intended target.

  7. carol says:

    Maybe if omalley and all his cronies would stop raiding the transportation fund we wouldn’t be facing toll increases and gas tax increases. Where’s the story on raiding the fund?? I’d love to see one of the area newstations report more on the abuse of power in Maryland. I know that only happens on one local station but this will never stop until it’s put in the public eye day after day.

  8. the truth says:

    The local news stations & the liberal left Sun paper or what is left of it, (pun intended) are eunuchs. None of them has the balls or better yet, the journalistic professionals to do investigative reporting. They fired all their good senior talent & replaced them with the Blonde & the Black guy on the 6pm news that just graduated from the school of MTV.

  9. Billiam says:

    Only in MD would some worker put the sign that states new toll rates in effect November 1 – on the OTHER SIDE of the tolls AFTER you pay it. Take note – it’s southbound I-895 and as of Saturday, the sign indicating the increase would be in effect on Nov 1 is on the other side of the toll booth which means you wouldn’t see it until AFTER you paid the toll. Coincidence?

  10. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    VOTE THE DEMOCRATS OUT IN 2012. . . or are you ready for MORE OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. O Malley lied says:

    Here is a youtube video, O’Malley answers to the toll increases, and he LIED.

  12. steve says:

    Congrats Maryland, you have pushed yet another hard working Maryland long time Resident Away, You want TOLLS< and HIGH TAXES, FINE!!! I am moving to a non annual tax state down south, and hope never to return.

  13. jeff says:

    The Transportation Fund HAS surpluses. They raid that fund to give to other funds that are lacking. And the politicians say the Transportation Fund is broke, no wonder……..LIARS!!!!!!! Democrats wake up & make this a 2 party State……Additional gas tax is next

  14. Oldman says:

    I have nothing left to give this liberal State, but I can’t uproot at this time. They will keep taking until the voters wake up and start protesting these increases. Most people do not have a clue what is going on in Maryland and until there is an Occupy the State House it will not end. Before anyone replies I’m in my twilight years and cannot stand the cold anymore.

  15. LaDasha says:

    Gov. O’Malley is a good man and he is trying to do the best he can for Maryland and the inner city. Maybe some of the casino and toll money will be used to help the inner city poor.

    1. FedUp Florida says:

      LaDasha, a nig name. No wonder you like omalley, he keep you in foodstamps and welfare. I knew leaving MD was a good idea. It’s turned into black trash spreading from Baltimore and illegals coming from who knows where. It’s a sanctuary state for entitled slobs.

  16. benign canine says:

    We who live in lousiana are a lot better of in some ways. When a bridge is paid for all, tolls are removed until a new bridge is needed. Then new tolls go into effect until it is again paid for. While it is smarter to keep tolls at a minimum for repairs and upkeep, at least our politicians raid different cookie jars.

  17. Debbie says:

    Gov O”Malley is a good man. Wow didn’t realize I was reading the comics.
    Tax and Spend O’Malley a good man. Oh well everybody needs a laugh now and then.

  18. McClean says:

    F*&#k the Government
    Our state over spends and our paychecks are NOT increasing. Consolidate state services and offices into single buildings, one in each county. STOP paying welfare / unemployment / WIC to lazy, baby popping, drug using leaches. Stop sending 4 dump trucks to do the work of one person. Make it illegal for police put a lower speed on a ticket than what was observed, make it illegal for the courts to lower traffic fines; the state is loosing millions there. Stop allowing the building of new communities. These new communities put a strain on infrastructure, and there are no new jobs. STOP hiring from other countries, hire US CITIZENS first, lets resolve our nations unemployment problem, before we take on people from other countries.

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