Cedar Park, TX (PRWEB) December 7, 2008
The 183A toll road in Cedar Park has officially gone cashless, becoming the fifth all-electronic toll road in the State of Texas. The transition to cashless tolling took place at 6:00 a.m. on December 1, 2008 with the closing of the remaining cash tollbooths. The vast majority of 183A users will not be impacted by the change since more than 85% already pay their tolls electronically with TxTag. Drivers who do not have a TxTag sticker will still be able to use 183A but will be sent a bill in the mail rather than having to stop at a toll plaza to pay.
The transition to all-electronic tolling should improve roadway safety, cut vehicle emissions and reduce fuel consumption. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which operates the 183A toll road, expects to reduce toll plaza operating costs by more than $1 million a year. Approximately 15 toll plaza employees are affected by the change. They work for a private company under contract with the Texas Department of Transportation. Most have been or will be transferred to other positions. A severance package is being provided to those who cannot find other work.
"We always planned for 183A to be a state-of-the-art all-electronic toll road, but when construction began in 2005, we weren't sure if Central Texans were ready for the concept," said Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of the Mobility Authority. "To be safe, we initially collected cash at several of our toll plazas, but as TxTag usage soared past 80%, it became clear to us that the community was ready for cashless tolling."
To accommodate drivers who choose not to pay using TxTag, TollTag or EZ TAG, the Mobility Authority has implemented a Pay-By-Mail program. Customers without a TxTag simply drive down 183A. While on the road, their vehicle's license plate will be photographed, and a Toll Bill will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
TxTag remains the easiest and most economical form of payment. TxTag customers save 25% off the Pay-By-Mail toll rate. Drivers can get TxTag online at http://www.TxTag.org, via phone at 1-888-Go-TxTag or in person at the TxTag customer service center located at 12719 Burnet Road.
Drivers who prefer to pay their tolls in cash can still do so. TxTag accepts cash payments, and Toll Bills for 183A can be paid with exact change by visiting the Municipal Services Bureau, located at 6505 Airport Blvd, Suite #100 in Austin.
183A is the second toll road in the country to close its cash booths and change over to cashless toll collection. Besides 183A, there are four cashless toll roads in Texas, the Westpark Tollway and Fort Bend Tollway in Houston, Loop 49 in Tyler and SH 121 in Dallas. A portion of the North Dallas Tollway is also cashless, and the North Texas Tollway Authority plans to phase out cash collection entirely by 2010. The Mobility Authority plans to implement cashless toll collection on all its future toll roads including the Manor Expressway, which will be constructed in an expanded median of US 290 east of Austin. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010.
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.