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E-ZPass devices now free for Maryland drivers

The state is eliminating the cost to buy E-ZPass Maryland transponders, saving residents $7.50, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday. However, that's just where the savings begin.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Just in time for the kickoff to the summer holiday season, it’ll be cheaper—and potentially faster—for Marylanders to get to beach.

The state is eliminating the cost to buy E-ZPass Maryland transponders, saving residents $7.50, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday. However, that’s just where the savings begin.

Toll prices are reduced for all E-ZPass customers. They save up to 25 percent with the transponder. At the Bay Bridge, the savings jump to nearly 40 percent.

For example, if you’re going to the Eastern Shore, having the free E-ZPass transponder will get you across the Bay Bridge for $2.50, instead of $4 with cash.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Live traffic conditions

“It helps you reach the beach or make your daily commute faster and smoother,” Gov. Hogan said.

The change is expected to save Marylanders $46 million over the next five years.

The move also is expected to help the air quality in Maryland by lowering emissions. By having fewer drivers waiting in toll lines to pay cash, there are fewer cars idling on the roadways.

Anyone who bought the E-ZPass device this year will get an automatic credit in their account, and anyone driving around with an older transponder will get a new one free of charge.

This is the latest move by Gov. Hogan to reduce tolls, taxes and fees for Marylanders. Three years ago, he eliminated the monthly fee for E-ZPass customers in the state, saving people $18 a year. He also cut toll prices in Maryland for the first time in 50 years.

“And with today’s transponder fee elimination, we have now cut taxes, tolls, and fees by over $1.2 billion in the last four years,” he said Wednesday.