The Austin American Statesman's (they endorsed tolling tax funded roads in 2004) new article “Third way to pay toll added: Drive through and get a bill” is interesting. It tells the story of how TxDOT has decided (last minute) to charge people for using the new Austin tolls by taking pics of the plates and mailing them a bill. Of course the Statesman also gives the TxTAG free advertising (again).
Drivers will be given a third way to pay to drive on the toll roads, a new approach in the rapidly evolving world of toll roads typically called "open-road tolling" or "video tolling." It will be more expensive than paying cash or using a toll tag.TxDOT decided this last minute? Right. Just weeks ago lied to KXAN and claimed they were not creating a data-base. They never mentioned this possibility. But hey, TxDOT runs the show, even though we pay to build the roads.
Here’s the kicker. SH 121 in Dallas was 100% funded with tax dollars and they tolled it anyway.
Denton Record-Chronicle’s article exposes some of the problem TxDOT is having with "open-road tolling" or "video tolling." on SH 121:
Department spokeswoman Kelli Petras said drivers have objected to receiving bills of as little as 25 cents for using the road, the first all-electronic toll road in Texas.The Fort Worth Telegram hits the nail on the head with "State needs lessons in arithmetic". It's the unbelievably real story about how the state of Texas spent 30.8 cents on postage to mail Don Ferguson a bill for 25 cents for driving on a toll road.
"There have been some complaints about being billed small amounts," she said.
The Texas Turnpike Authority Division in Austin, which governs the billing process, is working to resolve bugs in the system so that bills won't be sent out for totals that low, she said.
The remarks on the Statesman.com Poll, "How will you pay?" are priceless AND FUNNY. It looks like a lot of folks know the real deal. Here's just a few:
"I plan to save money for the tolls by cancelling my subscription to the Austin American Statesman and buying more from the internet where I don’t pay any local sales tax."
"Toll roads are not needed. TXDOT needs to be held more accountable for all the tax dollars they use for other things. It is setting on collected tax dollars earning the interest instead of using it to build & maintain roadways. I will never use toll roads. They are special interest roadways and I refuse to make it easy for those folks to make money."
"I will borrow money from my kids when they’re not home. Or maybe I will just have the toll guard ask me three questions, and try to get them right. Possibly leave a piece of my 95 Audi as I pass under each blinking light."
Somebody, besides being a thief, is canvas tuxedo, certifiable insane. Paying $3.00 one way, $30.00 a week to work and back is more than just common theft. I need a few of the plump little white envelopes that the politicians get from the lobbyists. Then I might be able to afford to drive a toll road once a week. You know, I think I’ll just pass on the whole thing. I’d rather wait and be fleeced at the gas pumps.