Tollways Not Accepting Cash- Electronic Payment Only

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Real Estate Agent with Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com 0480809

The NTTA, North Texas Tollway Authority, has agreed to move forward with their plan to get rid of all the cash booths by 2010.  Instead of the people without TollTags to pay cash, the booth will take a picture of the license plate and mail the owner a bill for driving through. 

This sounds like a great way to get traffic moving smoother, and in that aspect, it's great!  The downside to this is that when they mail the bill, there is a service fee tacked on including the amount it costs to mail the bill.  Does that make sense?  Instead of it costing $0.75 at the main booth, it'll cost close to $2.  Instead of $0.40 at the intermediate booths, it'll cost about a buck fifty.  Does that make sense??

Also, did the NTTA take into account the amount of out of towners and rental car drivers?  If someone is in town for only a few days, are they going to get home to a bill that has tons of service fees on it?  Does that sound fair for the great state of Texas?  Also, what about those people who have cars in the shop and need to rent a car for a couple of days.  Tolltags are not transferable to another car as they track the tag with the license plate.  You could get a ticket when they don't match.  So, when you rent a car, you're going to get penalized on the tollways...

Does that sound fair?  I wonder if the NTTA people really thought this through enough.  What do you other Texas drivers think?

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Rainmaker
307,523
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
Well, I'm not in TX, but I'm not far away. At first glance, this seems like a great idea, but you bring up some great points. They can't possible track down everyone by license plate. Rental cars would be tough, as would Dealer tags and cars that haven't yet been licensed. Keep us posted on how this goes.
Aug 15, 2007 09:07 AM #1
Rainer
25,980
Sharon "Toni" Brown
Exit Realty United - South Ozone Park, NY
South Ozone Park - New York City Real Estate
Not from Texas but we are facing "Congestion Pricing" for driving into Manhattan.  My question is if these tolls are manned by people or are they the ones with the baskets that catch your change.  In any event this is the dawn of the electronic society.  The powers that be will be able to track our lives and every step and the people who serviced those toll-booths either by taking tolls or emptying the machines should be looking for new jobs. I guess they will out-source the bills like they are trying to do everything else. "Cash accepted here only" will be the new signs we find in stores and all the others will take debit/credit as the norm.
Aug 15, 2007 09:11 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,473,510
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Ryan, they will send the bill to the registered person, which would be the dealer or the rental place, and then the bill will be passed along to the person who had the car on that day.

Sharon, We're talking about both people and the baskets.  They did away with many of the people about a year ago and went to exact change only.  Now, they're getting rid of the people who still remain in booths who will make change, plus getting rid of the baskets for exact change.  The report said there would be 400 people they would have to find new positions for... 400 people!

Aug 15, 2007 09:17 AM #3
Rainer
36,982
Richard Parr
ADT Security Services - Slidell, LA
Home Security Specialist - Greater New Orleans, Louisiana

Here in the Chicago area, we have the  electronic payment IPASS.  The catch here is that if you don't have one you pay double at the toll.  This is also a really brilliant plan for the tourists. 

You don't have one so we are going to stick it to you, come back to Chicago real soon!!!

Aug 15, 2007 09:18 AM #4
Ambassador
920,351
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Actually, I think it would be a paper mess. You would have to hire staff to collect, right ? Why, not just give the regular travelers from TX a lane and pass code.
Aug 15, 2007 09:52 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,473,510
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Richard, we also had a system where the people without the tolltag paid a higher price which was supposed to get more people to buy them, but it really didn't.

Missy, I agree that it's going to be a complete paper mess...  I can't imagine how they plan on doing it.  Billing each time or monthly?  Who knows.

Aug 15, 2007 09:54 AM #6
Rainmaker
223,941
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense

Here, they built the tollroads (over great protest, by the way), have lanes for people to pay with cash, EXCEPT for one stretch on one tollroad - you can get on it and pay a toll, but you're not supposed to use the one part in the middle unless you have a TxTag.  Brilliant planning - their excuse?  "We don't have room for a toll booth plaza on that part." 

I don't know what planet the planners of the toll roads in Texas live on, but I know I don't want to live there, or even visit!

 

Aug 15, 2007 10:00 AM #7
Rainer
434,914
Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission.
Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. - Cooper City, FL

DH,

The Jettson Era is offically upon us...

Aug 15, 2007 10:03 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,473,510
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Tricia, we have that on all our tollways.  There are always 2-3 lanes each way dedicated to TOLLTAG ONLY.  You just drive through at regular speed and don't have to worry about squeezing by the small amount of space they give with the booths.  But, by 2010, those other booths will be gone.

Scott, So you're saying that the flying cars are finally coming??!!  I can't wait to get my wings and make my way around town in warp speed!!

Aug 15, 2007 10:04 AM #9
Rainer
52,530
Linda Box Taylor
Castle Connections Realty - Plano, TX
Your Plano, TX Realtor

I think this is a great idea!  The majority of people who drive the tollways have Tolltags in Dallas so this is good.  NTTA has already used the Zip Lanes for a few months ago on the downtown toll plaza during construction and they got bills to everyone without a tolltag. 

Even though they say the tags aren't transferable, I still use my Tolltag when I'm in a rental car and I've never had a problem for that short of time period. 

Aug 15, 2007 11:23 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,473,510
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
Linda, I agree that it's great and it flowed traffic well... I just don't think it's "fair" that out of staters and rental car people (who won't/can't take their tag from their cars) are charged so much extra for the processing fee.
Aug 15, 2007 12:23 PM #11
Rainmaker
223,941
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense

Donna, I didn't make myself clear.  All the toll roads have the three lanes that are TxTag only, then they have the booths that are cash (and the occasional TxTag only for those entering at that point).  A efw have change machines for the cash lanes instead of people.  Except that this one road has the booths that you have to go through to pay if you're paying cash, as well as the TxTag only lanes, and then you're tooling along the tollway for a couple of miles and they want you to get off if you don't have a TxTag because they "didn't have room" to put a cash booth at that one particular entrance or something dumb like that.  Um, planning, anyone?  It was immediately pointed out before they even opened when this plan became known that this was going to cause problems for visitors, but that seems to have gone right past them. 

 

Aug 15, 2007 01:39 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,473,510
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
Tricia, That makes more sense now... the actual building it that way doesn't make sense, but your description makes sense.
Aug 16, 2007 12:42 AM #13
Rainmaker
527,210
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Baton Rouge, LA
Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience

My only thought is this: "Is this what we signed on for?"

Tollways are going to get out of control. Utilization of toll raods is a tax increase because the state is not spending our money on roads.

 

Aug 16, 2007 03:49 AM #14
Rainer
304,164
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC
Hi Donna,
Your post reminds me (not that I often forget) how thankful I am to live in an area where there are no toll roads/booths.  
Aug 18, 2007 02:38 AM #15
Rainer
32,487
Danielle V. Lewis
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
DDR Realty
The idea of speed is a good one; their plan to carry it out is bad. They should have a machine that reads your credit/debit card and charges you instantly. That would make it so much easier than mailing bills out.
Aug 19, 2007 04:42 AM #16
Rainmaker
1,473,510
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Cynthia, it used to be annoying, but there is typically less traffic because not everyone is willing to pay to drive.

Danielle, They already have that in place which is the Tolltag that I mentioned.  Many people still do not have Tolltags even though the first Tollway has been around since about the '60s.

Aug 19, 2007 04:58 AM #17
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Rainmaker
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Donna Harris

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