The Virginia Department of Transportation is considering charging $1 per month for each E-ZPass transponder to handle the increased administrative costs related to transponder devices and toll collection.
The measure, which might be implemented this summer, comes as a number of new toll facilities are about to open elsewhere in the state, several of them relying on all electronic toll collection, said VDOT spokesman Tamara Rollison.
Rollison said that the $1 fee being supported by VDOT was one of several options the agency identified to help fund the increased costs of operating E-ZPass and the toll facilities. Locally, Rollison said the $1 per transponder monthly fee would not affect the toll at the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge, which costs $2 for a regular car to cross, but only 85 cents with E-ZPass; higher fees for trucks are charged.
Using the E-ZPass at the Coleman Bridge provides "a great savings," said Gerald Ronesi, an electronics technician at the Coleman Bridge Toll Plaza. Three of the five lanes at the plaza are dedicated to E-ZPass, Ronesi said, with an attendant generally manning only one or two collection booths as the traffic dictates.