Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pay more on existing Tolls to Fund more Toll Roads

It's the new buze.... toll roads use is higher than predicted. Therefore we are not paying enough to use them. Increased toll rates will help keep people off the roads who can't afford it so that congestion remains low. Higher toll rates will also fund more toll roads.

Just check out the the media barrage we are seeing on a daily basis.

For this mess, you can thank your politicians for mis-managing your current tax dollars and refusing to address the problems before they grew this large.

Toll Road traffic exceeding projections

Motorists can - and should - pay more

A desire to keep the rates low could torpedo toll road goals

TxDOT - Gas Tax doesn't meet road expenses

NTTA on road to more tolls

Driving 45 is a numbers game

Confusion is king in Austin road names. Click above to read.

Friday, July 20, 2007

State of TX monitors movement of toll road workers

In this article today titled "State Claims Toll Tags Easy to Use, Hard to Abuse", a spokesman for the State of Texas (Gabi Garcia) says although they do not charge Toll Fees to contractors who maintain and operate Toll Roads, "the movement of those contractors is monitored to guard against abuse or fraud."

I just found that interesting.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

TxDOT Audit Urges More Toll Roads and Higher Fees

Houston Chronicle-
Audit urges more tolls for Texas drivers
The state's best chance for keeping up with demand for new and improved roads is to build more toll roads with higher fees, according to an external audit of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Among other recommendations, the audit by Dye Management Group and Deloitte Consulting suggests the state replace the existing gasoline tax with a fee based on miles traveled per vehicle.

Dallas Morning News-
TxDOT could bump tolls to improve roads
Texas needs more toll roads, and drivers should pay more to use them, an external audit of the Texas Department of Transportation suggested Wednesday.

A fee for miles driven to replace the gas tax, wow... They blame part of the funding shortage on vehicles getting better gas mileage. So, lets tax per mile instead of tying it to a product. That's nice except that means you would have to convert all roads to toll or charge an extrordinary amount on existing toll roads to make up the difference.

If there's no gas tax, would the profits from tolls be used to build MORE TOLLS or would it be used to offset the lost revenue meant to build new free roads and maintain them.

I see this as more propaganda for crooks to justify their theft.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Highway shortfall is worsening

This stuff makes my blood boil so much that I have to pause before I make a post. There's a budget surplus, politicians won't index the gas tax and on top of that, let's pull more money from the Highway Fund. Oops, not enough money, looks like we'll need to build toll roads in your town. In this case I'll let the article speak for itself.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

183-A Tollway design generating rash of violations

183-A's toll-tag-only section has more than 30 percent violation rate.

More than 30 percent of people who drive on the 183-A tollway's anomalous toll-tag-only section are doing so illegally, an abnormally high violation rate that has the road's operator pondering alternatives to the confusing setup.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has asked Vollmer Associates, its traffic and revenue consultant, to analyze what might result from several scenarios, including continuing under the current arrangement. The authority expects to have that information within a few months and could consider making changes in the fall.

Tracking 183-A tolls

In June, the first month when all cars on 183-A were subject to tolls (albeit at a reduced rate for toll tag users), the road averaged 55,850 toll transactions a day. However, more than 11,000 of those times — about 20 percent — the driver did not pay for the privilege, many at the toll-tag-only toll gantries near Lakeline Boulevard.

Toll point Daily toll transactions Violations Violation % Tag Use

Lakeline (northbound)* 16,246 6,216 38.3 61.7
Lakeline (southbound)* 10,260 2,148 20.9 79.1
Brushy Creek (northbound)** 3,623 187 5.2 76.5
Brushy Creek (southbound)** 2,701 151 5.6 79.7
Park Street (both directions)** 23,016 2,515 10.9 73.2

* Toll-tag-only plaza with no cash booths

** Cash booths and toll tag readers

Source: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, unaudited toll statistics