Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler proposed a 50 percent discount Friday for regular commuters on the Intercounty Connector, arguing that the lower toll would draw more motorists to the underutilized highway.
Under Gansler’s plan, commuters who make at least 15 trips a month on the ICC would be eligible for the discount, which he said would be comparable to existing breaks for drivers who frequently use the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore and the Bay Bridge.
The proposal was floated in the latest in a series of “Front and Center” Web videos that Gansler, the state’s attorney general, has cut with his running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s). Gansler is using the videos to lay out policy ideas that are generally modest in scope but affect everyday Marylanders.
The 18.8-mile ICC, which fully opened in 2011, links Interstate 270 in Montgomery County with Interstate 95 in Prince George’s County. The six-lane toll road cost $2.5 billion to build.
Tolls can cost regular users $40 a week if they have an E-Z Pass and $60 a week if they do not, Gansler said.
“That’s a lot to ask middle-class Marylanders who are already feeling squeezed by other taxes and tolls,” Gansler says in the video, in which he decries the “horrible traffic congestion in Maryland.”
Gansler said the loss in toll revenue would be offset by additional motorists using the ICC as a result of his proposed discount. Usage of the highway has not lived up to initial projections.
Gansler faces Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) in the June Democratic primary.