Austin, Texas (PRWEB) July 10, 2008
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Board of Directors has voted to approve the elimination of cash toll collection on its 183A toll road by the end of 2008. The decision is expected to save the agency more than $1 million annually in operating costs.
"With roughly 80% of our customers paying with TxTag, it no longer makes economic sense to operate cash toll booths," says Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of the Mobility Authority.
"With so few people paying cash, we are spending almost as much money to collect cash as we are collecting. By eliminating cash collection we can save money and shift those savings to other priorities such as the future expansion of 183A."
To accommodate drivers who do not have a TxTag, Tolltag or EZ-Tag, the Mobility Authority has implemented a "Pay-By-Mail" program. Customers choosing to use the "Pay-By-Mail" program can expect their vehicle's license plate to be photographed. The Mobility Authority will then send a TollBill to the registered owner of the vehicle.
"Once we go cashless, the 183A toll road will still be available to all customers through the "Pay-by-Mail program," says Heiligenstein. "However, TxTag will remain the easiest and most economical method of payment."
TxTag customers save 25% off the "Pay-By-Mail" toll rate. Drivers can get TxTag at all mainline toll plazas in Central Texas, online at http://www.TxTag.org or via phone at 1-888-Go-TxTag.
183A will be the fourth toll road in Texas to go cashless. The Westpark Tollway in Houston was the first cashless toll road in the nation. It opened in 2004. Other cashless toll roads in Texas include Loop 49 in Tyler and SH 121 in Dallas. In addition, the North Texas Tollway Authority is testing cashless toll collection on a portion of the Dallas North Tollway and has announced plans to covert all its roads to cashless by 2010.
Toll agencies across the nation are anxious to adopt all-electronic cashless toll collection because it has a wide range of benefits beyond cost savings.
"Cashless toll collection eliminates the need to stop at a tollbooth thereby increasing mobility and improving safety while reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions," says Heiligenstein.
The Mobility Authority plans to implement cashless toll collection on all its future toll roads including the Manor Expressway, which will be constructed along US 290 east of Austin. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2009.
The transition to cashless toll collection on 183A is expected to take place as early as November 2008. The schedule is dependent upon the installation of new signs to reflect the cashless configuration.
About the Mobility Authority:
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a local, independent government agency created to improve the regional transportation system. Our mission is to implement innovative solutions that reduce congestion and create transportation choices that enhance quality of life and economic vitality. The Mobility Authority is the state's first Regional Mobility Authority, created in January 2003 to serve Travis and Williamson counties. For more information visit: http://www.mobilityauthority.com/.