For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2017
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
| Virginia Department of Transportation, Shannon N. Marshall, Shannon.Marshall@vdot.virginia.gov
Toll Relief Benefits to Increase for Qualified Norfolk and Portsmouth Residents
~Toll relief benefit has increased from 75-cents to one dollar~
RICHMOND – Today Governor McAuliffe announced that Norfolk and Portsmouth residents are now receiving even more help paying Elizabeth River Tunnels tolls. As of Monday, April 10, 2017, the Toll Relief benefit has increased from 75-cents to one dollar, thanks to a one-time additional $500,000 contribution the Macquarie-Skanska Partnership, operators of the Elizabeth River Tunnels, has made to the Toll Relief Program.
“Easing the financial burden of Elizabeth River Tunnels tolls on Norfolk and Portsmouth residents has been a top priority of my administration,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “We first cut tolls in half at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels and then eliminated them altogether on the MLK Freeway Extension. Soon after, we launched Toll Relief – the first program of its kind in the nation – to provide meaningful financial relief to qualified Norfolk and Portsmouth residents who frequently travel the Elizabeth River Tunnels. Then, on March 31, I announced the Macquarie-Skanska Partnership's plans to take corrective actions to address concerns related to its handling of toll violations on the Elizabeth River Tunnels. Today’s announcement is the latest step in our efforts to mitigate the impact of this poorly-negotiated contract and save Virginians money.”
In 2015, the Macquarie-Skanska Partnership agreed to pay $500,000 per year for 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls on those users most financially impacted. The one-time additional $500,000 contribution was part of the Macquarie-Skanska Partnership’s recently-implemented corrective action plan.
“We are now able to provide even more financial assistance to qualified Norfolk and Portsmouth residents paying Elizabeth River Tunnels tolls,” said Deputy Secretary of Transportation Grindly Johnson. “Every little bit helps and this additional monetary relief will have a great impact on Toll Relief Program participants.”
To qualify for Toll Relief, participants must:
- Reside in Norfolk or Portsmouth
- Earn $30,000 or less per year
- Have or open a Virginia E-ZPass account
Once a qualified participant’s Virginia E-ZPass transponder has recorded eight trips or more through the Downtown or Midtown tunnels during a calendar month, a one dollar refund will be credited to his or her Virginia E-ZPass account.
Toll Relief is a 10-year program. The 2017 application period began Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, and concluded Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, with Toll Relief benefits beginning March 1, 2017.The 2018 application period begins Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, and will run through Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, will Toll Relief benefits beginning March 1, 2018.
For more information on Toll Relief, visit www.VirginiaDOT.org/tollrelief.