Maryland Opts for Cashless Tolls to Ease Bay Bridge Traffic - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Opts for Cashless Tolls to Ease Bay Bridge Traffic

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KENT ISLAND, Md. - Now that construction is underway, Maryland is trying to relieve Bay Bridge traffic tie-ups. The result: the state will now go "cashless" for tolls. Cars headed to the Eastern Shore will only have to slow down on Thursdays and Fridays between noon and 10p.m. That means no more stopping and paying the $4 fee. That bill, instead, will come through the mail.

Queen Anne's County Sheriff Gary Hofmann welcomes the idea. He says it's something better than nothing to ease traffic that keeps piling up because of Bay Bridge construction.

"The Bay Bridge traffic is crazy. It is super busy. There are traffic jams everywhere and it is one of those things we were hoping would be over through the Summer, but now we're starting to experience this through the Fall," Hofmann said. "This is a disaster. This is very chaotic."

But not all drivers are convinced the cashless way will work.

"I don't think it's going to do very much," one driver said.

Others remain hopeful for change.

"At least they're trying so that's a good thing," another driver said.

In the meantime, Sheriff Hofmann cautions drivers to stay on Route 50, avoid using any back roads, and to slow down and plan ahead.

Maryland's Transportation Authority (MdTA/MDOT) is encouraging drivers to take advantage of the cashless tolls by first getting a free EZ-Pass transponder. Workers normally collecting tolls during cashless hours will remain in booths and will provide customer support. If traffic still remains an issue, the agency says they will open two-way traffic on the westbound span at reduced speeds.

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