Toll Relief Expands Program
Offering Downtown and Midtown Tunnels Toll Discounts for More Hampton Roads Residents
The Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) has made significant enhancements to the Toll Relief Program, aimed at providing much-needed financial assistance to a broader range of residents in the Hampton Roads region. These changes will come into effect on October 29, 2023.
Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC), officially Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, LLC, is a limited liability company owned by Abertis and Manulife Investment Management. ERC’s sole purpose is to finance, deliver, operate, and maintain the Elizabeth River Crossings facilities, which include the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels and the MLK Freeway extension, as part of a 58-year public-private partnership (PPP or P3) with the Virginia Department of Transportation. ERC also provides incident response for the West Norfolk and Berkley Bridges, although operations of these bridges remain with VDOT.
The key modifications to the Toll Relief Program, include:
- Increased Eligibility: The annual individual income for eligibility has been raised from $50,000/year to $65,000/year.
- More Discounted Trips per Week: The maximum number of discounted trips has increased from 10 to 14 trips per week. Toll Relief participants can now save 50% on up to 14 trips through the Downtown or Midtown Tunnels each week.
There is no enrollment deadline. Residents can enroll for toll relief at any time, allowing them to start receiving their toll discounts immediately. Participants must re-enroll annually on or before the date they enrolled the previous year.
The program’s residency requirement still includes all jurisdictions within the Hampton Roads Planning District, ensuring more residents can access the benefits.
These substantial improvements to the Toll Relief Program are the result of a collaborative effort between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and ERC.
Chris Hall, VDOT Hampton Roads District Engineer, emphasized the significance of such partnerships and increasing program participation, “VDOT recognizes the importance of such partnerships in delivering safe and efficient transportation solutions to the public and fostering increased program participation. This collaboration is exceptionally poised to significantly elevate mobility and cost-effectiveness for drivers across the region.”
Funding for the Toll Relief Program is provided by Elizabeth River Crossings. In 2023, ERC will contribute more than $3.3 million to the program, with an annual increase of 3.5% thereafter.
“We remain unwavering in our dedication to this community, and through this improved program, our aim is to provide increased benefits to income-restrained residents and improve mobility throughout the entire region,” states Anna Bonet, CEO of Elizabeth River Crossings.
Under the program, eligible drivers of 2-axle vehicles equipped with an E-ZPass transponder will receive a 50% discount on tolls for up to 14 trips per week through the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels.
Residents are required to enroll in-person at the E-ZPass Centers in Norfolk or Portsmouth, or at the DriveERT Customer Care Center in Portsmouth, and provide proof of income and residency.
For more detailed information about the Toll Relief Program, please visit www.VDOTTollRelief.com
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