The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) today released a report detailing public feedback on a package of proposals to modernize toll facilities. Governor Larry Hogan in July directed the MDTA to explore new tolling options in order to reduce costs and cut tolls.
MDTA’s toll modernization proposal includes a new toll payment method (Pay-by-Plate), reduced toll rates for new and expanded vehicle classifications, and discounts for early payment of video tolls (Pay-by-Invoice).
According to the report:
Public comments for the official record were submitted through a number of methods. Five methods for providing public comment included an online comment form, U.S. mail, comment cards, public hearing testimony in front of MDTA Board Members, and private testimony collected by a court reporter at the public hearing.
Most comments received 95% (272) were received via the online form. Comments at the public hearings accounted for 3% (10) of the comments received and letters through the U.S. mail accounted for 2% (5). The majority of the comments were received from Anne Arundel County, accounting for 17% (48), followed by Queen Anne’s County at 14% (39) and Baltimore County at 13% (37). Those three counties accounted for more than 44% of the total comments received.
Most comments were received from areas near the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge. Through the different comment methods, the public was able to express their support or opposition to the proposals. Figure 1 shows the final breakdown of support and opposition for the Toll Modernization Proposal and the public comment process.
The final proposal will be presented to the MDTA Board on October 24, 2019. Additional public comments will be accepted between October 24, 2019, and November 7, 2019. The Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at its November 21, 2019 meeting.