FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 25, 2012

Contact: Cheryl M. Sparks or Kelly Melhem 
               410-537-1017

NEW HATEM BRIDGE E-ZPASS® PLANS AVAILABLE FEB. 1

Sept. 30 is Last Day to Use AVI Decals; Don’t Delay – Get Your E-ZPass Today; Avoid Standing in Line, Enroll On-Line Starting Feb. 13

BALTIMORE, MD – On Feb. 1, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) begins implementation of its new E-ZPass Maryland plans for motorists who travel the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40). The Hatem Bridge E-ZPass plans offer customers two choices to continue receiving annual unlimited trips for $10 as offered today with the AVI Decal.  

“The MDTA is committed to customer service and making this transition as seamless as possible for Hatem Bridge users,” said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett. “We are offering many options for customers to sign up for Hatem Bridge plans, including extending JFK Highway E-ZPass Stop-in Center Hours through September, introducing on-line enrollment for both Choice A and Choice B on Feb. 13 at ezpassmd.com and extending AVI decals that expire in January through Feb. 29 so these customers have adequate time to learn about and sign up for E-ZPass.”

Sept. 30, 2012 is the last day to use AVI decals at the Hatem Bridge toll plaza. To continue receiving the same yearly toll rate, AVI Decal customers must switch to either Hatem Bridge Choice A or Choice B Plan before their decals’ expiration dates or by Sept. 30. Both plans, available for two-axle vehicles only, offer unlimited trips for $10 per year – the same discount as decals. Customers now will have an E-ZPass transponder mounted to their vehicles’ windshields instead of an AVI Decal affixed to the outside of their vehicles.

Choice A is an E-ZPass account for use at the Hatem Bridge ONLY. There are no fees, pre-paid toll deposits and account statements, and transponders are free until Jan. 31, 2013, at which time they will cost $9.

Choice B is for new or current E-ZPass Maryland account holders who wish to add a Hatem Bridge Plan to their accounts. It is valid anywhere E-ZPass is accepted. This account is subject to a transponder charge (for new accounts), pre-paid toll balance and monthly account fee, unless the account is used at least three times the previous month to pay Maryland tolls. Choice B offers a 10% discount off the cash rate at Maryland toll plazas and is eligible for other E-ZPass discount plans.

The MDTA will hold community open houses from 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Havre de Grace Activity Center, 351 Lewis Lane, (snow date Feb. 22) and on Feb. 21 at Perryville High School, 1696 Perryville Road, (snow date Feb. 23) to offer customers the opportunity to learn about and enroll in Hatem Bridge E-ZPass plans. Also, MDTA will visit other community locations, businesses and events through September to share information and sign up customers for E-ZPass. Dates and locations are to be determined.

Customers should be aware of the following important dates:

  • Jan. 31, 2012 – Last day for AVI Decal sales in toll plaza.
  • Feb. 1, 2012 – Hatem Bridge Plans (Choice A and B) available for purchase at Stop-in Center and by mail.
  • Feb. 1, 2012 – Hatem Bridge Plans accepted at toll plaza.
  • Feb. 13, 2012 – On-line enrollment available at ezpassmd.com.
  • Feb. 29, 2012 – Decals with January expiration valid through this date.
  • Aug. 31, 2012 – Last day to purchase AVI Decal and T-series tickets.
  • Sept. 30, 2012 – Last day to use AVI Decal and T-series tickets.
  • Jan. 31, 2013 – Last day to receive Hatem Bridge Choice A transponders at no charge.
  • July 1, 2013 – Cost for Hatem Bridge Plans increases to $20 per year.

The MDTA urges customers – Don’t delay, get your E-ZPass today! There are approximately 10,000 AVI Decal renewals each month. As the switch is made to E-ZPass, the Stop-in Centers at the JFK Highway (I-95) and Hatem Bridge will be extremely busy. Effective Feb. 1, hours at the JFK Highway Stop-in Center, located at One Turnpike Drive, are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through September. Due to expected high customer volumes and very limited parking at the Hatem Stop-in Center, the MDTA recommends that customers use the JFK location and take advantage of the extended hours.

The best way to avoid long lines is to sign up on-line at ezpassmd.com starting Feb. 13. Customers can download an application today or sign up for monthly email updates at www.mdta.maryland.gov. Existing E-ZPass Maryland account holders may call the Customer Service Center at 1-888-321-6824 to add Choice B to their accounts. Customers may also sign up for the Hatem Bridge plans at MDTA’s other E-ZPass Stop-in Centers near its toll facilities.

NOTE: As the MDTA moves from AVI Decals to E-ZPass, motorists are advised to pay attention to the overhead signs at the toll plaza and note which lane(s) accepts their method of payment. Beginning Feb. 1, Toll Lane 3 at the Hatem Bridge will change from AVI Decals Only to E-ZPass ONLY.  E-ZPass will NOT be accepted in AVI Decal Only Lanes 4 and 5, nor will AVI Decals be accepted in E-ZPass Only Lane 3. Toll Lanes 1 and 2 will still accept cash, E-ZPass and AVI Decals.