The first phase of toll increases for the two Susquehanna River bridges, as well as other bridges and tunnels around the state, will take effect at 12:01 Tuesday morning, Nov. 1.
The immediate impact at the Thomas Hatem Memorial Route 40 and Millard Tydings I-95 bridges will be a $1 increase in the one-way northbound cash toll for two-axle vehicles from $5 to $6. The cash toll will go up again to $8 on July 1, 2013.
There are no corresponding increases taking effect for multiple axle vehicles at either Susquehanna River bridge until Jan. 1, 2012, when the cash toll for three- and four-axle vehicles will actually decrease by $3 and $5, respectively, before increasing by $1 on July 2013. Current tolls for three- and four-axle vehicles are $15 and $23, respectively.
Commuter toll rates at the two Susquehanna River bridges will also increase from 80 cents per round trip to $1.50, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority, or MdTA, which operates the bridges and tunnels.
Commuter rates are available for two-axle vehicles with valid EZpass Maryland accounts, according to MdTA. The two local bridges are also part of a 50-trip Baltimore Regional Plan that costs $37.50 and is good for 45 days.
Also not changing next week is the Hatem Bridge's commuter AVI decal plan that will continue to cost $10 for 12 months of unlimited trips and will be sold until Aug. 31, 2012. Those decals, however, will expire on Sept. 30, 2012, regardless of when they were purchased, according to MdTA's website. In addition, effective Feb. 1, 2012, the decals will no longer be sold in toll lanes.
By Sept. 30, 2012, MdTA will complete a transition of the Hatem AVI program to EZpass plans. MdTA said last summer that there are 150,000 AVI decals in circulation.
One plan, unique to the Hatem Bridge, will provide an EZpass transponder that will continue to permit unlimited trips for two-axle vehicles for $10 per year when the plan starts Feb. 1, 2012. The annual cost will increase to $20 on July 1, 2013.
MdTA said a Hatem Bridge annual fee can be added to new or existing EZpass Maryland account transponders; all other account fees and deposits apply.
Under a plan MdTA's staff originally proposed in the spring, the Hatem and Tydings bridge cash tolls would have increased by $1 effective Oct. 1, and the AVI decal program would have been switched to EZpass with the annual rates increased to $36 yearly and then to $72 yearly on July 1, 2013.
After the proposed AVI changes drew widespread public criticism in Harford and Cecil counties and brought intervention from local and state elected officials, MdTA reduced and modified its frequent user program considerably.
For more information on the Hatem and Tydings bridge toll increases, visit http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Toll_Increase/JFK_and_TJH_Toll_Increase.html.