Skip to comments.State looks at all-electronic toll collection
Posted on 03/14/2012 6:40:50 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Maryland may eventually do away with tollbooths on the state's highways, bridges and tunnels and switch to electronic toll collection.
A preliminary report by the Maryland Transportation Authority concluded that converting its seven toll plazas is feasible but would cost as much as $180 million.
Transportation officials initiated the study as they look for long-term savings and ways to reduce travel time and increase highway safety.
"It's something we're interested in doing. It's something the industry is moving toward. But it's complicated and we're in the earliest stages," said Harold Bartlett, the transportation authority's executive secretary.
At least eight states are converting some highways to cash-free toll collection. And Pennsylvania is considering the elimination of cash toll collection on its turnpike.
Maryland's toll takers there are 194 would likely be shifted into openings at remaining toll sites or trained to process electronic transactions, Bartlett said.
However, Patrick Moran, Maryland director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, dismissed the likelihood of retraining and said electronic tolling would hurt toll takers.
"We take it as a serious threat," he said.
Some of the toll takers are AFSCME members, Moran said, but none are represented in collective bargaining. As a result of the electronic tolling plan, the union has proposed legislation that would allow it to represent toll takers, he said.
Maryland's only entirely electronic toll road is the recently opened Intercounty Connector between Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg and I-95 in Laurel. More than 85 percent of motorists who drive the connector use E-ZPass; the rest are billed by mail. Non-E-ZPass motorists pay 1.5 times the base rate.
(Excerpt) Read more at baltimoresun.com ...
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
I can save MD at least 180 million dollars. Get rid of the toll booths, the toll takers and the TOLLS. If you really need the revenue to maintain the roads, add $.03 to the gas tax. You really ought to simply cut the state budget but that’s nearly impossible for so blue a state.
“The biggest hurdle would be finding the money for the project, Bartlett said”
Ok? Then why do it.
If I read the article correctly, a car without an EZ Pass will have its plate photographed...and a bill sent in the mail?
Pennsylvania is moving towards this too.
Once they put an EZ Pass transponder in every car, it’s a simple matter to charge you a toll wherever and whenever they choose.
What part of “legal tender for all debts public and private” do they not understand?
Uh, that’s not a law.
But, to get people working, they paid people to stand at the booths, take your quarter and then drop it in the basket.
Last Paragrapgh - which few ever read-
>>The proposed conversion, five years off, would cost about $319 million but would boost net toll revenue by $5 million in the first year and by about $21 million in the 10th year, in large part because the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s 700 toll collectors would be rendered obsolete, the report said.<<
So...$319 mil to convert, with maybe 30 mil savings over the 1st 10 years.... they’re not saving anything.
So what’s the real reason to do this??
Not sure what are all the negative thoughts on this - all over Dallas we have this system, you can even go into the airport using toll tag and not stop for toll booth. You don’t need the tag, on the roads, the NTTA takes a photo of cars license plate, sends a monthly bill. No big deal.
Unless you get behind an idiot who doesn't have a toll tag, and you have to wait five minutes for him to take the frickin' ticket.
Toll roads, with their controlled exits prevent development to service the road. Natural development along the road would produce more money in the long term and stimulate the economy.
First off the 319 million is a lie, no way in the world tearing down toll booths and putting up blue tooth devices would cost that.
From my POV, it’s a great loss of money that
Maryland tax payers might be concerned about,
..and another loss of another freedom.
I don’t use EZ pass, so if I have to travel
thru MD, they’re going to photo my plates and
send me a bill.
PLUS, according to the article, I’ll be billed at
1.5x the normal rate.
Of course, one can always use the non-toll road, but
how long before one is stopped for suspicious activity
by NOT using said toll road?
I appreciate you posting these. Maryland had a O Malley-watch website started 2007 but it disappeared just in time 2010 for his re-election.
The $319 mil was a total for all the toll roads
across the state.
And yer right - it’ll probably cost double that.
Have you ever known a gub’mint entity to understimate
the cost of something? :)
Just reserved a rental car for a trip to Pittsburgh and part of Ohio in June. Dollar informed me that some states now will have totally electronic toll collection and said they have the devices like EZ-Pass...and if you somehow wind up on a toll road, the bill goes to them and then they whack you with an additional charge (in other words, when you pick up your car get one of those devices if you think you’ll wind up on a toll road that is totally electronic in terms of collection)
no solution to stupid - maybe those guys are part of why Dallas got a bad driver rating from some mag. this week. save us from yahoos.
Once there are transponders in every car, it will be no difficult task to instantaneously calculate your speed between two timing points and simply mail you an indisputable bill for a speed infraction.
“Maryland may eventually do away with tollbooths on the state’s highways, bridges and tunnels and switch to electronic toll collection.”
What if you’re an out-of-state driver with an out-of-state car (not equipped to make electronic payment) who happens to be driving on a Maryland toll road?
Does this make you an “instant violator” as soon as you encounter a “toll-boothless” toll collection point?
Doesn’t this discriminate against the poor and minorities, who often drive older cars, and who also may not be equipped to pay electronically?
Uh, thats not a law.
Then why did they have to pass a law specifying that pennies were NOT legal tender in amounts over twenty-five? (too many people paying their property tax with huge bags of copper I reckon)
I live in MD but I have PA EZ-Passes. No monthly fee. I bought one before I moved here, the other after.
“the rest are billed by mai”
See this is what gets me. How can this work for temporary users, passing through on their vacation?
How do they bill by mail? The evil cameras on license plates? Again, like lights/speeding, how do they know it’s not stolen? Borrowed? Or that the owner is in the car at all?
When are they going to use records of where our cars were against us?
I hate this Orwellian stuff.
And I thought someone here told me that PA will give them to MD residents with MD plates but I could be mistaken.
Just checked. PA will give them to MD residents and PA charges $6.00 per year, MD charges $24 per year. Another opportunity to stick it to O malley I say.
That will cost jobs. In MD E-ZPass costs include:
All new or replacement devices must be purchased. The following rates apply for
Standard - $21.00
A monthly account charge of $1.50 will be deducted from all E-ZPass Maryland accounts.
Transponder fee ..............$25.00 Transponder misuse administrative fees.........Up to $50.00
Returned ACH/check fee..$25.00
Optional monthly statement fee..............$1.00 per month
A minimum toll prepayment is $35 plus a $25 security deposit per transponder. The security deposit is waived if you choose to replenish you account using automatic replenishment via your bank account with a credit card (not linked to the same bank account) as back up. Plus a dollar charge for a monthly report.
Delaware or Virginia residency not required.