What are I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL)?
Express toll lanes are new travel lanes that are separated by a concrete barrier from the regular (general-purpose) lanes. Drivers who want a more reliable trip on I-95 may choose to pay a toll to use the ETL. Toll rates vary by time of day for more reliable travel times, especially during peak periods.
The ETL are part of the $1.08 billion I-95 Improvement Project, which includes $756 million in highway and safety improvements along the eight miles of I-95 from the I-895 interchange to just north of White Marsh Boulevard (MD 43) in northeast Baltimore.
What highway and safety improvements have been made to I-95?
The comprehensive I-95 Improvement Project is focused on enhancing highway safety in the corridor.
Major highway and safety enhancements include:
- Reconfigured three major I-95 interchanges (I-895, I-695 and MD 43) to improve traffic operations and enhance safety;
- Eliminated left-hand exits from the general-purpose lanes at the I-695 interchange;
- Modified the traffic pattern on southbound I-95 at I-895, giving priority movement to the majority of motorists who continue along I-95; and
- Replaced two structurally deficient bridges at MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard).
Why were the ETL built?
The ETL were built to help reduce peak period congestion on I-95 between White Marsh and the I-95/I-895 split that occurs during morning and afternoon rush hours, weekends, holidays, incidents and other peak periods. Initially, the MDTA does not expect significant usage of the ETL during off-peak and overnight periods.
When will the ETL open to traffic?
The ETL are scheduled to open in late 2014.
- How are tolls collected on the ETL?
- Tolls are collected with E-ZPass®.
- Toll collection is fully electronic. There are no toll plazas, so customers do not need to slow down or stop to make a toll payment.
- Drivers without E-ZPass can still use the ETL, but will be charged a higher Video Toll Rate. The Video Toll Rate is 150% of the base toll rate to help offset the cost of looking up the information, printing and mailing the bill, and any subsequent actions needed to recover the toll.
- Electronic signs on I-95 will display real time toll rates.
- Why is there a toll on the ETL?
The toll is used to manage the amount of vehicles using the ETL and maintain reliable travel for the users of the ETL.
- What will the tolls be on the ETL?
Toll rates will vary by number of vehicle axles, payment method, time of day and direction of travel on the ETL.
There are three proposed pricing periods, based on existing I-95 traffic volumes: peak, off-peak and overnight. The lowest tolls are charged for E-ZPass users during overnight periods. The highest tolls are charged for Video Toll users during the peak travel periods.
The proposed mileage rate ranges for each period are identical to the rate ranges in use for the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200. Actual ETL toll rates for the peak, off-peak and overnight periods must be set within the ranges approved by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Board.
- Is there a toll for the existing general purpose lanes?
There is no toll for using the general purpose lanes adjacent to the ETL.
- How will I get on and off the ETL?
Motorists will have the following choices to enter the ETL:
- Northbound – on I-95 near the I-895 merge, on I-895 just prior to the merge and from Moravia Road.
- Southbound – on I-95 near White Marsh and from MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard).
- Northbound – to I-95 near White Marsh and to MD 43.
- Southbound –to I-95 near the I-895 split, to I-895 near the split and to Moravia Road.
- What could a trip on the I-95 Express Toll Lanes cost?
Possible E-ZPass Trip Rate Ranges *
Min / Max
Min / Max
Min / Max
Min / Max
Min / Max
Peak $1.75 / $2.45 $5.25 / $7.35 $7.91 / $11.06 $10.50 / $14.70 $13.16 / $18.41 Off-Peak $1.40 / $2.10 $4.20 / $6.30 $6.30 / $9.45 $8.40 / $12.60 $10.50 / $15.75 Overnight $0.70 / $2.10 $2.10 / $6.30 $3.15 / $9.45 $4.20 / $12.60 $5.25 / $15.75
- Why will the toll rates vary by time of day, day of the week and direction of travel?
The toll rates vary to match travel patterns in the I-95 corridor while helping to reduce peak-travel congestion and provide reliable travel. The toll rate is higher when traffic volumes are at their highest and lower when traffic volumes are at their lowest.
- Do all vehicles, even electric vehicles, have to pay a toll to use the
Express Toll Lanes?
- What is a mileage rate range?
A mileage rate range shows the lowest and highest per-mile toll that the MDTA may use when setting toll rates for the ETL and other congestion managed toll facilities like the ICC.
- Who decides the toll rates for the ETL? How often will the toll rates
The mileage rate ranges and pricing periods for the ETL are established by the MDTA Board. The actual toll rates are set by the MDTA Executive Director within the approved ranges.
As traffic volumes grow, the MDTA may change the toll rates to manage the amount of vehicles using the ETL and ensure reliable travel. Toll rates may be changed with 10 days public notice, so long as they remain within the approved ranges. Changes to the overall tolling plan once approved by the MDTA Board require public hearings and a public-comment period.
- How do I get an E-ZPass? And how much does it cost?
Visit www.ezpassmd.com to enroll online or to get a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations. You may also visit one of our Stop-in Centers located at most Maryland toll facilities and at the Motor Vehicle Administration offices in Glen Burnie, Beltsville and Gaithersburg.
An E-ZPass MD transponder costs $9 to purchase. The pre-paid toll amount is $25 and there is a monthly account maintenance fee of $1.50 that is applied if you use your account less than three times a month in Maryland.
- Can I use the ETL without an E-ZPass?
Although E-ZPass is the most convenient and easiest way to pay for your toll, you can also pay the toll after your trip using Video Tolling. Upon entering the ETL, a photo of your license plate will be taken, allowing the MDTA to look up the name and address of the registered owner with the appropriate state’s Motor Vehicle Administration. A bill will be sent to that address for the Video Toll transaction.
- Can I use an E-ZPass from another state on the ETL?
The MDTA accepts any valid E-ZPass account issued by any state for payment of tolls on the ETL and at all Maryland toll facilities.
- If there is an accident in the general purpose lanes, will I be forced to
use the ETL?
No, the current alternate/detour plan for incidents on I-95 directs motorists to use US 40 and/or US 1. The ETL would be available as an option to the customer.
- What is the speed limit in the ETL lanes?
The speed limits for the general-purpose lanes and the ETL along I-95 are currently being evaluated and have not been formally established at this time. Speed limits are established based on a number of factors, including roadway geometry, driver speeds and roadway safety. These factors will be very different for the ETL and the general-purpose lanes when the roadway opens to traffic.
*Based on proposed per-mile rate ranges and tolled distance of 7 miles.