Home McAuliffe announces toll relief program for Norfolk and Portsmouth residents

McAuliffe announces toll relief program for Norfolk and Portsmouth residents


newspaperNorfolk and Portsmouth residents will soon receive help paying tolls through the Elizabeth River Tunnels. 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.

“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,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at today’s announcement. “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.”

Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC), operators of the Elizabeth River Tunnels, has agreed to pay $500,000 a year for 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls on those users most financially stressed.

“Last year, I directed Deputy Secretary of Transportation Grindly Johnson to lead this effort and work with local stakeholders to develop a toll relief program that provides much-needed financial assistance to those individuals who need it the most,” said Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. “I am pleased that we now have a plan in place to do just that. I also would like to thank Elizabeth River Crossings for partnering with the Commonwealth on the creation of this critical program.”

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.

For more information on Toll Relief, visit www.VirginiaDOT.org/tollrelief.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

Latest News

Basketball, Sports

VCU overcomes sluggish first half, rallies past Saint Joseph’s, 73-69

preparing to bake a pie
Basketball, Sports

Scott German: How about that piece of Tony Bennett humble pie now?

After a dismal 76-60 loss at NC State in early January that saw Virginia fall to 2-2 in ACC play, I did the unthinkable, writing about the possibility of UVA coach Tony Bennett being near the finish line at his tenure in Charlottesville. 

coach mox
Basketball, Sports

Women’s Basketball: Virginia stuns #20 Louisville, 73-68, for third Top 25 win

It wasn’t that long ago that Amaka Agugua-Hamilton’s predecessor forfeited a game at Louisville, supposedly because of travel issues.

uva bennett staff
Basketball, Sports

Bennett has the blueprint for how to fix his offense: He just doesn’t want to use it

ncaa tournament
Basketball, Sports

Metrics: Virginia continues to fall in computer rankings with another L

Cops & Courts, Virginia

Update: Virginia Tech student talks with authorities in Missouri, case considered closed


VDOT survey seeks comments on improvements to Barracks Road corridor