NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Victims of excessive toll fines received a major boost Friday from Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
The governor, joined by local and state officials, announced several reforms for the toll violation collections of Elizabeth River Crossings.
Among the reforms – reimbursement for residents who have had to pay fines that exceeded $2,200. McAuliffe said Friday that reimbursement checks should be in the mail within 60 days.
The Friday announcement also came a day after Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) named a new chief executive officer. Philip Shucet, the former commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation, will take over for former CEO Gregory Woodsmall.
Fees will now be capped at $2,200 for first offense on a failure to pay tolls. People who are enrolled in the toll relief program cannot be fined more than $1,100.
Shucet says customers who paid more than the new collection fees should call ERC customer service, preferably with invoice in hand, at either 757-821-2659 or 855-ERT-ROAD.
McAuliffe’s announcement comes one week after he visited Portsmouth, and talked about a proposed budget amendment to ease the financial burden of toll collections on Hampton Roads residents.
McAuliffe said Friday that he was contacted by representatives of Macquarie-Skanska following last week’s news conference.
10 On Your Side has covered countless stories about drivers dealing with billing difficulties and facing thousands of dollars in fines and late charges from ERC. Following a 10 On Your Side report, McAuliffe also announced Friday that ERC will now use an invoice approach similar to what is used at the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.
Both the governor and Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne have been highly critical of the agreement that allows ERC to toll the Downtown and Midtown tunnels.
McAuliffe says Macquarie-Skanska will donate $500,000 immediately to the state’s toll relief program.
“Our customers are important to us, and the majority of them have positive experiences. We do realize there have been challenges with a number of drivers with unpaid tolls and fees, and we have not provided the level of customer service and support that they should expect,” Shucet said in the news release. “As we hit the reset button and reinforce a customer service first culture, we look forward to working with anyone who needs help settling any outstanding balances or has concerns.”
10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox will have a full update tonight at 4 p.m.
WATCH: Gov. McAuliffe announces reforms for toll violation collections. App users can watch the full news conference here.