Toll rates established for I-95 express lanes

BALTIMORE, Md. - It will soon cost about $1.75 in each direction for the average commuter to utilize the planned express toll lanes along a portion of Interstate 95 between I-895 and just north of Route 43.

The announcement came from the Maryland Transportation Authority Thursday, whose board approved a rate structure for the lanes, which are set to open in late 2014.

According to the MdTA, the peak toll rate along the 7-mile stretch will be 25 cents per mile, while it will cost 20 cents a mile during off peak hours and 10 cents a mile overnight. The rates come after three public hearings and almost two months of public comment gathering between Sept. 19 and Nov. 4.

"The I-95 Express Toll Lanes will help reduce congestion and will provide a choice to motorists who desire a more reliable travel time," said MdTA Executive Secretary Bruce Gartner in a statement. "Motorists who choose not to use the ETL will still benefit as the new lanes will remove vehicles from the I-95 general-purpose lanes. The Express Toll Lanes are part of a comprehensive I-95 Improvement Project focused on enhancing highway safety along this vital economic corridor."

The peak period for weekdays is considered 6 to 9 a.m. in the southbound lanes and 3 to 7 p.m. on the northbound lanes. On weekends, the peak period is noon to 2 p.m. along all lanes on Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. along all lanes on Sunday. Overnight is considered to be between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

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