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Date: May 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 19, 2015

 

 

SUMMER 2015 TRAVEL SEASON

KICKS OFF WITH MEMORIAL DAY

More Than 1.8 Million Motorists Anticipated To

Travel Maryland's Toll Facilities

 

 

BALTIMORE, MD - As the unofficial start to summer approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds the more than 1.8 million motorists anticipated to travel MDTA roadways this holiday - plan ahead; travel off-peak; and Drive Smart. Arrive Safe. This total represents a 4% increase in traffic counts compared to last year.

MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 22, and Monday, May 25:

  • Bay Bridge (US 50/301) - more than 360,500.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) - more than 466,000.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) - more than 479,500.

An additional 572,500 vehicles are projected to travel the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined. All totals represent traffic in both directions.

The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:

· Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:

  • Thursday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Friday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Saturday - before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
  • Sunday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Memorial Day Monday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

· Don't Wing It. Plan Ahead!

  • Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.
  • Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for email alerts.
  • Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.
  • Ease your travel with E-ZPass. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass "On the Go" retail locations.
  • Know Before You Go - call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information. To view traffic cameras on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
  • For toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.

· I-95 Now Has a Shortcut - I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) now open between White Marsh and I-895 in Baltimore.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA's priority. The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity. Officers will step up seatbelt enforcement during the Click It or Ticket Campaign from May 18 through May 31. The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, May 22, to 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 26.

I-95 South of Fort McHenry Tunnel: A major rehabilitation project is underway on I-95 in Baltimore City. Expect reduced lane widths, lane shifts and split traffic lanes along I-95 between the Fort McHenry Tunnel and Caton Avenue (Exit 50). Current traffic patterns and project details are available at i95bmore.com or use #i95bmore on Twitter. Motorists should consider the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) if their destinations are north or south of Baltimore.

Please be aware of the new lane striping on eastbound US 50 after the Bay Bridge toll plaza. The new line striping will guide drivers from the individual lanes in the toll plaza to the eastbound lanes across the bridge.

For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:

  • Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.
  • Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-use control signals.
  • Devote your full attention to driving - it is illegal to text or use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
  • State law requires that every passenger in a moving vehicle be secured with a seat belt or child safety restraint.
  • Do not tailgate - keep a safe following distance.
  • Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  • Keep your eyes on the road - do not sight-see.
  • Make sure your vehicle is "road ready."
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
  • State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.

In accordance with the State's budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, May 22, including the

E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 to sign up for E-ZPass, update account information or make payments via credit card. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 26.

For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.

The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

 

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For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2015

Governor Hogan Rolls Back Tolls Statewide -
Saving Marylanders $54 Million A Year

$2.50 Bay Bridge Toll Returns For Maryland E-ZPass Users;
$4 For Drivers Paying Cash
Plan Eliminates Monthly Account Fee And Doubles
Discounts For Maryland E-ZPass Holders

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan today delivered on his promise to roll back Maryland's high toll rates and put money back in the pockets of hard-working Maryland families and businesses. From the Bay and Hatem bridges to the Harbor Crossings, the Intercounty Connector (ICC), and the new I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL), Governor Hogan's toll rollback, which takes effect July 1, 2015, will save Maryland citizens $270 million over the next five years.

"We are proud to announce what by far is our largest tax relief package to date and marks the first time tolls have been lowered in Maryland in nearly 50 years," said Governor Hogan. "This tax cut will put more than a quarter billion back into the pockets of our beleaguered Maryland taxpayers, and back into our economy."

Responding to the governor's calls to lower tolls, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Board today approved recommendations from MDTA staff to decrease toll rates across the state, increase E-ZPass Maryland discounts, and eliminate the monthly $1.50 E-ZPass account fee.

The following toll reductions and changes are effective July 1, 2015:

  • Eliminate the E-ZPass Maryland monthly $1.50 account fee for Maryland residents.
  • Reduce all Cash, Video, Commuter and Shoppers' toll rates at the Bay Bridge (US 50/301), including a reduction in the two-axle cash rate from $6 to $4 round trip and in the Commuter rate from $2.10 to $1.40.
  • Increase the E-ZPass Maryland discount from 10% to 37.5% at the Bay Bridge - toll drops from $5.40 to $2.50 round trip.
  • Increase the E-ZPass Maryland discount from 10% to 25% for the Baltimore Harbor (I-895) and Fort McHenry (I-95) tunnels, the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) - toll drops from $7.20 to $6 round trip - and for the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) - toll drops from $5.40 to $4.50 round trip.
  • Reduce two-axle toll rates on the ICC/MD200 and I-95 ETL for all pricing periods by $.03 per mile. This change reduces a two-axle, peak period trip from I-270/I-370 to US 1 on the ICC from $4.40 to $3.86 (E-ZPass), and a two-axle, peak period trip on the I-95 ETL from $1.75 to $1.54 (E-ZPass). Other ICC and I-95 ETL toll rates also will be reduced based on standard multipliers per axle.
  • Establish a 30% discount at the Hatem Bridge for three- and four-axle vehicles with E-ZPass Maryland - three-axle toll drops from $16 to $11.20, while four-axle toll drops from $24 to $16.80.
  • Increase E-ZPass Maryland supplemental rebate program for vehicles with five or more axles by 5 percentage points per trip level.

The following change is effective January 1, 2016:

  • For vehicles using the Childs Street and I-695 turnaround exits at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and Key Bridge respectively, toll rates will decrease to $2 per axle for three-to-six-plus-axle vehicles. For example, three-axle vehicles will see a toll reduction from $8 to $6 and four-axle vehicles from $12 to $8.

"I have thoroughly reviewed the toll-reduction plan, and I'm confident the MDTA will continue to maintain its sound financial footing and commitment to safety and quality services," said MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn. "A lot of hard work went into the development of this proposal, and I'd like to thank MDTA board members for their careful analysis and approval of this toll-reduction plan."

To take advantage of the new E-ZPass discounts, motorists are urged to sign up for a Maryland E-ZPass. The new discounts increase from 10% to a range of 25% to 37.5%.

"If you turned in your E-ZPass years ago because of the monthly maintenance fee, it's time to come back," said MDTA Executive Director Bruce W. Gartner.

The $54 million annual toll reduction is made possible by efficiencies in MDTA's capital and operating budgets that will allow the agency to meet its financial responsibilities and implement the governor's toll rollback. For a detailed list of toll reductions statewide, visit mdta.maryland.gov.

MD Toll Rates Effective July 1, 2015 (PDF Download)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 4, 2015

CONTACT: Cheryl M. Sparks

410-537-1017

 

GOVERNOR HOGAN APPOINTS NEW MEMBER TO

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY


BALTIMORE, MD - Governor Larry Hogan has appointed W. Lee Gaines, Jr., of Baltimore County to serve as the newest Board Member of the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA). President of Gaines and Company, an underground-utility contractor based in Reisterstown, Md., Mr. Gaines has more than 40 years of experience in the transportation industry with extensive knowledge of financial, procurement and contracting matters.

A graduate of Yale University, Mr. Gaines is a past president and board member of the Associated Utility Contractors of Maryland and a long-time board member of the National Utility Contractors Association. He is a past trustee of the Boys' Latin School of Maryland and of the Gilman School and currently is a trustee of Yorktown University.

"Lee understands what it takes to run a successful business and his background will add to the diverse experience of our board members," said MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

Mr. Gaines was officially sworn in by the clerk of the court in Baltimore County on April 20.

"I am honored to receive this appointment and look forward to serving as a governing member of the agency responsible for so many of our States major transportation investments," said Mr. Gaines.

 

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is an independent State agency that finances, owns and operates the State's toll facilities. The MDTAs Board Members, appointed by the Governor with consent of the State Senate, serve as the agency's policy-setting and governing body. Maryland's Secretary of Transportation serves as MDTA Chairman.

 

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