10 On Your Side helps 87-year-old get toll bills reduced

Floral designer Richard Capen got his toll bills reduced

PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) — A 10 on Your Side success story — getting toll relief for an 87-year-old Norfolk man who was in over his head.

We took his stack of bills totaling nearly $4,000 to Elizabeth River Crossing’s CEO, Philip Shucet, and got them cut down to just $1,300.

Floral designer Richard Capen drives through the tunnel four days a week to work to pay the bills.

“Things are tight as ticks cause I don’t have any extra work coming in anymore, ” Capen told WAVY.

He couldn’t afford to put money on his E-Z Pass but he kept driving to work racking up the stack of bills.  Shucet said they worked out a monthly plan for the past bills, and got Capen a new E-Z Pass. “It’s pre-loaded with $35 on it, we’ll help him register that, so that $35 is on us,” Shucet said,

Capen has promised to reload it regularly. ERC is also sending a customer care representative to help Capen apply online for VDOT’s toll relief program.

It offers people who earn under $30,000 a year a reduced toll rate.

“I’m very pleased, very pleased — I think they’re stretching themselves,” Capen told 10 On Your Side.

Shucet said ERC will do all it can for anyone in a bind — you just have to ask and be realistic, because there are no free rides.