PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was in Hampton Roads Monday to announce a plan to ease toll burdens on the Downtown and Midtown tunnels.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, the announcement is part of a plan to reduce "the financial impact of major construction improvements on motorists in Hampton Roads."
Elizabeth River Crossings has agreed to pay $500,000 a year for 10 years to help offset the costs of tolls on financially stressed users.
Toll Relief, the first program of its kind in the nation, will provide meaningful financial relief to qualified Norfolk and Portsmouth residents who travel the Elizabeth River Tunnels.
The enrollment period for Toll Relief begins December 1, 2016 and will run through February 15, 2017. Toll relief benefits will begin March 1, 2017.
To qualify for Toll Relief, participants must:
- Reside in Norfolk or Portsmouth
- Earn $30,000 or less per year
- Have or obtain a Virginia E-ZPass transponder and registered account
- Record eight trips or more during a calendar month through the Downtown or Midtown tunnels
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 $0.75 per trip refund will be credited to his or her Virginia E-ZPass account.
Toll Relief is a 10-year program. The first year of the program will serve as a pilot. Data collected will help determine if adjustments to implementation are needed.