Come this fall, there will be no more stopping on the Francis Scott Key and Hatem Memorial toll bridges in Maryland.
The Maryland Transportation Authority announced this morning that both bridges are going cashless, with tolls to be collected by E-Z Pass or video tolling overhead.
Eighty percent of drivers traversing the Key Bridge on I-695 in the city already use E-Z Pass anyway, as do 93 percent of those who travel the Hatem Memorial Bridge connecting Harford and Cecil counties on Route 40, MDTA said. The planned changes could save drivers $1 million in fuel annually and a combined 44,000 hours in stoppage time at the toll booths, in addition to reducing crashes.
Maryland is among 17 states with the debit-based E-Z Pass system allowing drivers to pass through tolls without stopping and employs video tolling for those without transponders. (The practical benefit is the same, but those who aren’t pass holders are charged 1.5 times the base toll rate, with a minimum $1 surcharge, and will receive a bill in the mail.)