Baltimore, Maryland (Arundel News Network) Thursday morning, MDTA aofficials announced that it will beging cashless toll collections on two bridges, Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) and the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US-4)_ in Harford and Cecil Counties.
The change will start in October 2019 and tolls will be collected via “E-ZPass” or Video Tolling.
MDTA Chairman Pete K. Rahn said “Moving to cashless tolling at the Hatem and Key bridges is just one more example of how Maryland is leading the nation in using technology to reduce congestion.”
This is in part due to an action that the Maryland Board of Public Works took in February 2018 in which they approved two contracts for the MDTA’s next-generation tolling system.
Currently 93% of Hatem Bridge and 80% of the Key Bridge customers use EZ-Pass. In the future other facilities will be converted over.
Going to a cashless tolling is not only a national trend over the past decade but also provides other safety factors and other benefits. Rate savings for customers, less idling time for better fuel efficiency and reduced vehicle emissions, decreased congestion, increased driver safety and a safer work environment for employees are other benefits to the next generation system.
This is especially true on the Key Bridge where in the afternoons the cash line can be seen waiting for 10-20 minutes at least while those with EZ-Pass move through the system much faster.
New overhead and tolling structures or gantries will also be installed by September 2019 at both the Hatem and Key Bridges.
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