VDOT wants to tack on $1 monthly fee for EZ Pass users

Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-19 17:49:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Drivers who use EZ Pass to roll through Virginia toll booths may soon have to pay more for that convenience.

In fact, VDOT is proposing a $1 a month fee for folks who use the windshield-mounted transponder.

“The use of our EZ Pass System is going to double over the next several years because we have some major toll facilities coming on board,” said Virginia Department of Transportation's Tamara Rollison.

The system currently costs VDOT $10 million a year operate. However, Rollison said the cost will increase to around $15 million in the coming years due to new toll facilities and the expected increase in users.

"This is not unusual," said Rollison. "Other states that have EZ Pass do this as well.  Once the system gets to a certain size, there's a point were you have to find a way to pay for these administrative costs.”

Local driver Hollie Knight does not support the fee increase.

“I can totally understand them getting the money, but there's always another option," said Knight. "This is not the only option, and I'm sure they can find an option that is more equal for everybody and not just people who are EZ Pass holders.”

AAA Mid Atlantic's Martha Meade said the organization understands the need for transportation funding, but that tacking on new fees for drivers who bought EZ Pass for its convenience is the wrong move.

“It was sold to the motorists as a cost saving issue, but to come back now [with this fee] gives us heartburn,” said Meade.

If approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the new fee would take effect in July of 2012.