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Tunnel tolls: Time of day will determine what you pay

Lowering toll rates at the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels may lessen the burden on drivers over the next three years, but for Portsmouth business owners it’s still not enough.

“I for one have a catering business. We have drivers and we drive through the tunnel back and forth numerous times a day it’s probably going to cost us 15,000 a year,” said Charles Greenhood, Owner of Brutti’s.

And, many drivers may not be aware that the $.75 rate starting February first is only for off-peak hours.

Most people will instead end up dishing out one dollar each way. That’s because peak times account for eight hours of your day.peaktimes1

Here’s what officials consider peak times: 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

“The fact is, at 8:30, 9:00 o’clock you could shoot a canon through that tunnel most days,” said Greenhood.

For Andrew Stuart, any amount of money is too much when you’re a college student paying your way through school.

“I was talking to a friend who might have to drop out just because they can’t afford the tolls. They’ve managed to pay for classes and that’s pretty much all they could do. And, they’re working two jobs so I’m not sure how they’re doing it,” said Stuart.

But, both Greenhood and Stuart hope that by 2017 state leaders will have a more permanent, favorable solution.

“I have ultimate confidence in Governor McAuliffe to do something a lot more to make this go away,” said Greenhood. In the meantime, Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Layne, says any money left over from any transportation projects will go towards mitigating the tolls in the future.

Here’s a full breakdown of what the tolling will be:

Starting Feb 1 2014:
Off-peak hours – $.75 cents
Peak hours – $1.00

Starting Jan 1 2015:
Off-peak hours – $1.00
Peak hours – $1.25

Starting Jan 1 2016:
Off-peak hours – $1.25
Peak hours – $1.50

2017 – Tolls will revert back to original amounts in the ERT plan.
Off-peak hours – $1.59
Peak hours – $1.84

Related: 
CTB members unanimously vote in support of temporarily lowering tolls

Governor McAuliffe wants temporary 75 cent toll at Downtown, Midtown Tunnels

Gov. McAuliffe: Midtown/Downtown Tunnel tolls ‘too high’

Beat the E-ZPass deadline

VDOT, DMV workers won’t pay tolls, while first responders, school buses will

VDOT estimates 65,000 people still need to get EZ-Pass for tunnel tolls

VDOT suggests E-ZPass for tunnel tolls

Supreme Court rules in favor of Downtown, Midtown Tunnel tolls

Fight over tunnel tolls goes to Virginia Supreme Court

State says tunnel tolls could still go into effect despite judge’s decision

Judge rules against tunnel tolls

Group fighting against tunnel tolls headed to court

The future of tunnel tolls in Hampton Roads

Work begins at Downtown and Midtown Tunnels to install tolls

Governor-Elect to announce new tunnel toll relief plan after inauguration

More bus, ferry service planned for Midtown and Downtown Tunnels

1 Comment

  • momof2

    INSANE! They chose the hours to ensure that they got EVERYBODY that works! People don’t CHOOSE to drive through the tunnels, they do it out of necessity. Now you want to charge us to sit in backups at the tunnels! NICE kick in the pants.

    If you want to have peak hours, have them match the HOV hours (6am-8am and 4pm-6pm). Not that it would be fair for that either but it would be better than what they are doing. I’m certainly glad that the people who came up with the nonsense can sleep at night! For me, I lose sleep trying to figure out where to find the money to pay another “BILL”.

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