The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announced a timeline for full-time all-electronic (cashless) tolling at the Bay Bridge by Summer 2020. Beginning Sunday, January 12, some toll lanes will permanently close in order to be dismantled. Remnants of the toll plaza will remain in place until final demolition in 2022.
From MDTA’s press release:
“We know motorists who use the Bay Bridge are ready to embrace all-electronic tolling,” said MDTA Executive Director Jim Ports. “This past fall, Governor Hogan asked us to initiate cashless tolling at the bridge as soon as possible. This schedule will allow us to fulfill that mission, and this project is the next logical step as Maryland toll facilities move toward an all-electronic system.”
With all-electronic tolling, cash is not accepted as payment. Drivers do not have to stop to pay tolls, as overhead gantries collect tolls electronically by E-ZPass® or Video Tolling. The benefits of all-electronic tolling include less idling time for better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, decreased congestion, increased driver safety and a safer work environment for employees.
Although MDTA reports that 74 percent of Bay Bridge drivers are currently using E-ZPass, there is a push to encourage Maryland motorists to sign up.