State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) says she opposes the proposed $1 a month fee to use E-ZPass.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, which operates E-ZPass, the transponder that lets motorists automatically move through toll booths, said last month it is
The announcement has been met with disdain by many citizens, including Howell.
"The automated toll lanes were originally set up as an efficiency device to save VDOT money, require fewer employees, and move traffic more efficiently," Howell said in a letter to VDOT Commisioner Gregory Whirley. "As the system has become widely accepted and heavily used, this surely continues as a more efficient, less costly way of collecting tolls. After implementing it to save money and resources, it is punitive to penalize those who use E-ZPass by charging for its use. Drivers pay a user fee (toll) to use the toll roads and now will be charged what is essentially a tax to use the more efficient automated system. "
"If this plan is put in place, drivers who use the toll roads less frequently may opt out of E-ZPass, contributing to already heavy traffic congestion at toll entrances and exits," Howell wrote. "The Virginia Department of Transportation is not held in high regard by the general public. Adding this cost will increase the disdain of an already skeptical public. I urge you to reconsider the idea to charge for use of E-ZPass and work for more comprehensive transportation planning and funding."
VDOT is taking public comment on the cost through June 12. To comment: Go to www.virginiadot.org/e-zpass or submit your comments directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, mail them to: Office Communications Third Floor/Annex Bldg. Virginia Department of Transportation, 1401 E. Broad St. Richmond, VA 23219