The Maryland Transportation Authority
(MdTA) is an independent state agency responsible for financing, constructing, operating, and maintaining eight toll facilities, currently consisting of two toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...
s, two tunnel
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for egress, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueducts to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers...
s, and four bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...
s in Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...
. It also provides the Maryland Department of Transportation
The Maryland Department of Transportation is a government agency in the U.S. state of Maryland. MDOT is overseen by Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, who replaced John Porcari in 2009 upon the latter's appointment as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of...
with "conduit" financing for other revenue producing transportation projects.
The MdTA was established in 1971 to take over functions previously performed by the former State Roads Commission. Financially independent from Maryland's general fund and transportation trust fund, the Authority operates as a purely enterprise
agency, providing services on a user charge basis similar to the operation of a commercial enterprise. Its capital projects and operations are funded by tolls, concessions, investment income, and revenue bonds.
In addition to its own toll facilities, the Authority finances construction of other revenue-producing transportation facilities for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). These projects have included improvements at the Port of Baltimore and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. To provide construction funding, the Authority issues revenue bond
A revenue bond is a special type of municipal bond distinguished by its guarantee of repayment solely from revenues generated by a specified revenue-generating entity associated with the purpose of the bonds, rather than from a tax...
s, which will be paid off over a period of years by tolls and other user fees generated by the facilities.
The MdTA can issue either taxable or exempt bonds to finance large scale projects. As of June 30, 2010, the Authority had outstanding revenue bonds totaling $2.7 billion. Most of this debt was in the form of transportation facility
revenue bonds valued at $1.6 billion, for MdTA toll facilities. Grant and Revenue Anticipation
(GARVEE) bonds, secured by federal grants and revenue pledged from individual projects, comprised $651 million of the debt. Conduit
revenue bonds, for the construction of transportation parking and airport passenger facilities, also secured by federal grants and the future revenue of specific facilities, comprised the rest of the debt. Unlike the transportation facility bonds, the conduit and GARVEE bonds are pledged to revenue sources managed by other agencies, external to the MdTA.
The Maryland Secretary of Transportation serves as chairperson of the Authority's governing board. Eight other board members are appointed to four year terms by the Governor, with confirmation by the Maryland Senate. Term expirations are staggered. Board members can be reappointed to additional terms, but a limit of three consecutive terms was established in 2007.
Daily operations of the Authority are overseen by an executive secretary, a member of the governing board who serves as the chief executive officer for the agency.
Current members of the governing board:
- Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, chair person
- Randolph P. Brown, acting executive secretary
- Peter J. Basso
- Rev. Dr. William C. Calhoun, Sr.
- Mary Beyer Halsey
- Louise P. Hoblitzell
- Richard C. Mike Lewin
- Michael J. Whitson
- Walter E. Woodford Jr. P.E.
The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, previously known as the Toll Facilities Police, were established in 1971 as part of the MdTA. Their mission includes protecting several other transportation facilities such as the Port of Baltimore and BWI Airport, as well as the Authority's own facilities.
Currently operating toll facilities
The MdTA operates the following toll facilities:
- Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge
The Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge is a bridge carrying the traffic across the Susquehanna River on U.S. Route 40 between Havre de Grace and Perryville via Garrett Island in northeast Maryland. It is the oldest of the eight toll facilities operated and maintained by the Maryland Transportation...
– crossing the Susquehanna River on U.S. Route 40 between Harford and Cecil counties
- William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a major dual-span bridge in the U.S. state of Maryland. Spanning the Chesapeake Bay, it connects the state's rural Eastern Shore region with the more urban Western Shore. The original span opened in 1952 and, at the time, with a length of , it was the world's longest...
(Chesapeake Bay Bridge) – crossing the Chesapeake Bay on U.S. Routes 50/301 between Anne Arundel and Queen Anne's counties
- Francis Scott Key Bridge
The Francis Scott Key Bridge, also known as the Outer Harbor Bridge or simply the Key Bridge, is a continuous truss bridge spanning the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The main span of is the third longest span of any continuous truss in the world.The bridge was opened in March 1977...
– outer crossing of the Baltimore Harbor on I-695, the Baltimore Beltway
- Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
The Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge is a , two-lane continuous truss bridge that spans the Potomac River between Newburg in Charles County, Maryland and Dahlgren in King George County, Virginia, USA....
– crossing the Potomac River on U.S. Route 301 between Charles County, Maryland and King George County, Virginia
- John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway – the 50 miles (80.5 km) section of I-95 traversing northeastern Maryland from the Baltimore city line to the Delaware state line
- Fort McHenry Tunnel – I-95 crossing the Baltimore Harbor
- Baltimore Harbor Tunnel – I-895 crossing the Baltimore Harbor
- Maryland Route 200 - the Intercounty Connector
Most of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway is not actually a toll road. Tolls are collected only on the northbound side, at a toll plaza located a mile north of the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge
The Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge is located on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway in Maryland and carries Interstate 95 over the Susquehanna River between Cecil County and Harford County. Its annual traffic is 29 million vehicles....
. Northbound vehicles departing the highway prior the bridge or entering north of the bridge, and southbound vehicles, travel toll-free.
Maryland Route 200, the Intercounty Connector (ICC), will link existing and proposed development areas of Montgomery County and Prince George's County between Interstate 370
Interstate 370 is a Interstate Highway spur route off I-270 in Gaithersburg, Maryland to the western end of toll road MD 200 at an interchange that provides access to the park and ride lot at the Shady Grove station on the Red Line of the Washington Metro. Despite the number, I-370 does not...
at Shady Grove
Shady Grove is an unincorporated area of Montgomery County, Maryland. It has a population of 5,000-7,000, between the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg, mostly in zip codes 20850 and 20855, though the exact boundaries are not officially defined. Shady Grove is one of Montgomery County's upper...
and Interstate 95
Interstate 95 is the main highway on the East Coast of the United States, running parallel to the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida and serving some of the most populated urban areas in the country, including Boston, Providence, New Haven, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore,...
Laurel is a city in northern Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County, Maryland, United States, located midway between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Incorporated in 1870, the city maintains a historic district including its Main Street...
with an 18 mi (29 km) east–west limited-access highway. The $2.4 billion project is being financed by MdTA, with the Maryland State Highway Administration
The Maryland State Highway Administration is the state agency responsible for maintaining Maryland numbered highways outside of Baltimore City...
serving as the project manager for engineering and construction.
When the first segment of the ICC opened on February 23, 2011, it became the first toll facility in Maryland with fully automated toll collection. Connecting Interstate 370 with Maryland Route 97
Maryland Route 97 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The route runs from U.S. Route 29 in Silver Spring, Montgomery County north to the Pennsylvania border in Carroll County, where the road continues into that state as Pennsylvania Route 97...
, the first segment is 5.65 miles (9.09 km) long.
Express Toll lanes
The MdTA began construction of the Express Toll lanes on a congested portion of Interstate 95, north of Downtown Baltimore
Downtown Baltimore is the section of Baltimore traditionally bounded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to the west, Mt. Royal Avenue to the north, President Street to the east and the Inner Harbor area to the south. It consists of four neighborhoods: Westside, City Centre, Inner Harbor, and...
, in May 2005. When completed, the new toll system will extend for 8 mi (12.9 km), from the east side of Baltimore City, at the Interstate 895
Interstate 895 may refer to:*Interstate 895 , a bypass through Baltimore, Maryland*Interstate 895 , a short connector in Bronx, New York*Interstate 895 , a never-built bypass of Providence, Rhode Island...
split, into Baltimore County, north of Maryland Route 43
Maryland Route 43 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known as White Marsh Boulevard, the state highway runs from Interstate 695 near Parkville east to MD 150 in Middle River...
in White Marsh
White Marsh is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. The population was 8,485 at the 2000 census.- History :...
. This segment of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (Interstate 95) will have two Express Toll and four general purpose lanes in each direction. Tolls for using the Express Toll lanes will vary, depending on traffic conditions, to reduce congestion. The general purpose lanes will continue to operate toll-free.
The MdTA has owned the Canton Railroad
The Canton Railroad is a Class III switching and terminal railroad, operating in eastern Baltimore City and Baltimore County. It serves the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and local shipping companies, and connects with two Class I railroads: CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern...
, which operates as a for-profit enterprise, since 1987.
Toll increases to become effective at all Maryland toll facilities on October 1, 2011 were proposed by the Authority's board on June 2, 2011. These changes are expected to raise an additional $77 million during the first fiscal year after their implementation. Additional revenue was considered necessary by the board to expand highway capacity and rehabilitate aging infrastructure.
The most recent toll increase was in 2009, but it affected only vehicles with three or more axles. Drivers of passenger vehicles have not seen a toll increase since 2003. When the first span of the Bay Bridge opened in 1952, drivers of passenger vehicles paid $2.80 for the round trip, plus $.25 per passenger; a toll of $2.50 is currently charged for east-bound cars.