Richmond, VA

Toll increases coming in Richmond, cash users will pay more

Watchful Eye
Boulevard Bridge toll boothsPhoto byDan TD

Driving on Powhite Parkway, the Downtown Expressway and the Boulevard Bridge will soon be on the list of rising costs of living.

Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority (RMTA) approved toll increases yesterday that will take effect Sept. 1.

The RMTA also approved charging drivers higher rates if they use cash.

For drivers paying electronically with a E-ZPass, the rate for the Powhite Parkway and Downtown Expressway will increase from 70 cents to 90 cents. The rate for cash customers will increase to $1.

On the Boulevard Bridge, the rate will increase from 35 cents to 45 cents for electronic payments, and the rate will jump to 50 cents for cash payments.

The toll charges are also set to increase on three ramps: Douglasdale Rd., 2nd St. and 11th St. Rates will go from 20 cents to 45 cents or a bit higher to 50 cents if paying with cash.

Based on RMTA discussions, the increases are to address the lost of revenue collected during the pandemic when traffic declined steeply along with the need for maintenance and improvements, which for the next six years are expected to be over $96 million, according to NBC 12.

The transportation system does not receive federal or state tax dollars. The transit authority solely relies on user fees from tolls, NBC 12 also noted.

The last toll hike in 2008, raised prices from 50 cents to 70 cents.

The RMTA Board approved the latest increases in 14-2 vote.

Former Chesterfield County Administrator Lane Ramsey, admitted to Richmond Times-Dispatch that “the (proposed) rate increase was pretty steep to do at one time.”

But he said he voted for it “because I know that we have to keep the system viable and you need a rate increase.”

“I just personally think this is a bit aggressive to address the upcoming needs of the authority,” said Steven Mulroy, one of the two board members to vote against the increase.


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