From the office of Del. Mary-Dulany James:
As I hope you heard, last week the Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) adopted an amended tolling proposal. It turned out vastly different from the original proposal for the Hatem Bridge that so many of us objected to. I was pleased with how open Secretary of Transportation Beverly Swaim-Staley was to working with me and Delegate Dave Rudolph to achieve a more fair tolling structure for our bridge. I also want to thank the Secretary’s fantastic staff at the Maryland Department of Transportation and the MdTA. The Hatem is a vital throughway for us Harford and Cecil County residents. I am proud of how our we were able to express that fact to Secretary Swaim-Staley and the MdTA board.
While the new proposal does include an increase in 2013, it is much more moderate than previously proposed. You can review the entire new plan at: . For the Hatem Bridge, the AVI decal will be phased out by September 30, 2012. Customers can buy AVI decals for $10 until August 31, 2012, but all decals expire on September 30, 2012, if not before. In place of the AVI two E-ZPass Hatem Bridge plans will be available:
1. Hatem Bridge-Only Plan for two-axle vehicles with a valid transponder provides unlimited trips for the Hatem Bridge ONLY. No monthly account fees or pre-paid tolls will be required for this plan. This plan begins on February 1, 2012, and costs $10 per year. On July 1, 2013, the price increases to $20 per year. E-ZPass transponders will be provided at no charge for the Hatem Bridge-Only Plan until January 31, 2013.
2. For existing or new E-ZPass Maryland customers, the Hatem plan may be added to individual transponders on an E-ZPass Maryland account. Please note that these accounts are still subject to account and transponder fees and pre-paid toll deposits in addition to the annual plan fee.
For all E-ZPass customers the new plan waives the $1.50 monthly fee on accounts used to pay three or more tolls in the previous month at MDTA facilities.
I think this scheme is much more fair than MdTA had initially proposed. So, be sure to get your free transponder before January 31, 2013, and if you have specific questions, please contact MdTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to contact my office at email@example.com. I hope you are all enjoy the coming fall weather.