BALTIMORE — Dates have been set for cashless toll collections at the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge on route 40 in Harford and Cecil Counties and at the Francis Scott Key Bridge on I-695 in Baltimore.
On Wednesday, October 16, before morning rush hour, all toll collections at the Hatem Bridge will be taken electronically through E-ZPass and Video Tolling.
The same will begin for the Key Bridge two weeks later, on October 30.
When that time comes, cash payments will no longer be accepted at the tolls. Rather, new overhead tolling structures have been installed at the bridges to collect payments electronically.
If you have an E-ZPass, it will be scanned and payments will automatically be taken from your account. For those without an E-ZPass, the video tolling will photograph your tag and mail you a toll bill double the amount.
At the Hatem Bridge, tolls are collected in one direction only. The E-ZPass toll rate there for a two-axle is $6.00, while the Video Toll rate will be doubled to $12.00.
For the Key Bridge, a two-axle will cost $3.00 with an E-ZPass and $6.00 without one.
Officials claim cashless tolling eases congestion, and anticipates that drivers using the Hatem and Key bridges will have better fuel efficiency and save $1 million in gas costs and 44,000 hours each year by not stopping at toll booths.
The old current toll plazas at the Hatem and Key bridges will still be set up and remain a construction zone until 2021.
For now drivers will be able to go through them without stopping while still following all roadway signs and speed limits.
By spring 2021, the toll plazas will be demolished at which point motorists will be able to travel in the area at regular highway speeds.
The change in tolling was announced this past spring.
Standard E-ZPass transponders are free and there is no monthly fee for customers with Maryland addresses. Interested motorists can sign up for E-ZPass Maryland at ezpassmd.com, by visiting the E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Center at the Hatem Bridge and Key Bridge, or at any other Customer Service Centers located adjacent to MDTA facilities. Registration is also available at many Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration locations or retail partners.