More than 2,000 Norfolk, Portsmouth residents to receive toll relief

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NORFOLK — More than 2,000 Southside residents will receive financial relief for trips made through the Elizabeth River Tunnels beginning March 1.

The 10-year toll relief program, which is the first of its kind in America, will offer a 75-cent trip refund to some Norfolk and Portsmouth residents. To qualify for the program, a person must live in Norfolk or Portsmouth, earn less than $30,000 a year and have a Virginia E-ZPass account.

Once a participant’s E-ZPass has recorded at least eight trips through the Downtown or Midtown tunnels in a month, the refund will be credited back to their account, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The program is funded by Elizabeth River Crossings, the operator of the tunnels, who agreed to pay Virginia $500,000 a year for toll relief.

“We’ve put into place a long-term, sustainable Toll Relief program that will offer financial assistance to Norfolk and Portsmouth residents who need it the most,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a news release. “After the previous administration negotiated the terrible deal that resulted in high tolls for Virginia commuters, this administration has taken every step it can to alleviate that burden.”

Mayfield can be reached at adrienne.m@southsidedaily.com.

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.