Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced the Toll Relief program for tolls through the Elizabeth River Tunnels, a program aimed at providing assistance for low-income residents in the Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, areas.
Elizabeth River Crossings, which operates the Elizabeth River Tunnels, will pay $500,000 a year for 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls for qualifying users. The first year of the program will serve as a pilot. Officials say the program is the first of its kind in the U.S.
“Since the beginning of my administration, we have made toll relief a top priority for the Norfolk and Portsmouth regions, since there is no free alternative for users of the Elizabeth River Tunnels,” McAuliffe says “Following my actions to cut tolls in half at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels and eliminate them on the MLK Freeway Extension, today’s launch of Toll Relief is another big step in easing the burden of tolls throughout the region. We will continue to take smart, innovative approaches in solving the Commonwealth’s transportation challenges to ensure our citizens and businesses can thrive and prosper in the new Virginia economy.”
Qualifications for the Toll Relief include:
- 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
Officials say a qualified participant will receive a $0.75 per trip refund credited to their Virginia E-ZPass account once their transponder has recorded eight trips ore more through the Downtown or Midtown tunnels during a calendar month.
Enrollment begins December 1 and will continue through February 15, 2017. The benefits are set to being March 1, 2017. More details on the program are available at www.VirginiaDOT.org/tollrelief.