Toll increases on Powhite Parkway, Downtown Expressway go into effect Sept. 1

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Metropolitan Transit Authority (RMTA) Board of Directors has voted to increase the price of tolls on Powhite Parkway and the Downtown Expressway. The changes will go into effect later this year.

According to a release from RMTA, on Sept. 1, tolls for two-axle vehicles on the Powhite Parkway mainline toll plaza and Downtown Expressway will increase from $.70 to $.90 for E-ZPass users and to $1 for those paying cash.

The decision to increase the prices was made in response to “the age of the Expressway System, escalating capital and maintenance expenses, commuter traffic decline during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and necessary technological enhancements to improve safety and the overall customer experience” and was based on the recommendation of RMTA engineers, as well as traffic and revenue consultants, according to the release.

The last time RMTA raised toll prices was in 2008. According to the release, operating and maintenance costs have increased by 23.3% since then. It is estimated that maintenance and improvements to the system will cost RMTA over $96 million over the next six years.

RMTA, which gets no funding from the federal government or the state of Virginia, says it has spent more than $143 million for improvements along the expressway system.

The release did not mention whether the prices at secondary toll booths outside of the Powhite Parkway and Downtown Expressway toll plazas, such as the one on the Nickel Bridge, will increase.