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Old 05-18-2010, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FVmommy View Post
Actually they've said this will be the first toll road without any manual toll booths. They're planning on billing anyone without a transponder. I'm with the earlier post though - are they really going to send bills to people who only owe small amounts? And how are they going to enforce payments especially out of state? And won't it cost more to match plates to addresses and send a bill? But when you add up all the small tolls they'll be missing out on won't they be losing out on a lot of $? I think they're assuming most people will have transponders (and it is going to read both the 'northeast' and 'south' systems) but I'm not so sure that's true.
Well, they'll try. And I'm sure they won't get everyone. But here's a few things to keep in mind. First, this isn't I-95, and it won'd be heavily used by people just traveling through the state. So you won't get as many out-of-state highway users as you would otherwise. While there will be some tolls that never get collected, I don't think it'll be a substantial portion. Second, I don't think it's that costly to match license plates to addresses -- it's a simple matter of getting the data from other states' DMVs. Third, the system is cross-compatible with the northeast's EZ-Pass system and Florida' SunPass, so a number of out-of-state drivers will already have a transponder.

Fourth, and finally, there's a cost to making extra efforts to try to capture tolls manually. You need to build special lanes to handle manual payment; that means you need either more space for these extra lanes, or you take away from the high-speed lanes. The first costs money, the second costs time for all drivers. Then you need to pay somebody to actually collect the tolls, and that may not be cost effective. You can't get rid of any of the proposed equipment either. Even if you have manual toll lanes, presumably you're still going to use license-plate cameras to record the plates of people who blast through the high-speed lanes without transponders and try to bill or penalize them.

It seems to me all-electric is the way to go.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:54 AM
 
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Default Transponders

From the article:

Quote:
Drivers will also have the option of purchasing a small transponder that will be used to collect the tolls electronically.
Assuming NC adopts the EZPass system that is used from Maine in the far North-east, to Illinois/Wisconsin in the West, and to Virginia in the South; transponders are free from Massachusetts.

I have a MA provided transponders for my infrequent trips across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. Other states require you to purchase, pay a monthly rental fee, and/or pay an initial deposit (some refundable and some not). Transponders from MA have none of these added charges.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:06 AM
T|K
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
806 posts, read 1,358,571 times
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They actually can now turn normal roads into toll roads, as there is a loophole, hasn't happened, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do it at some point.

All electronic is the way to go for sure, I would bet that you will not see any new toll roads built anywhere that are not electronic. However, I wonder what will happen if somebody drives on it with like the tailgate of a truck down so you can not see the license plate.


The NCTA was created with HR644, a bill which passed both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Mike Easley on October 3, 2002. The law prohibits the NCTA from converting any existing roads in the non-tolled system to toll roads, but there is a loophole in the legislation. An existing free road can be converted into a toll road if it "is needed to help establish the financial viability" of a nearby toll project[2]. In addition, the law mandates the North Carolina Department of Transportation to maintain an existing, alternate, comparable non-toll route for each toll route constructed by the NCTA.[3]
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
Assuming NC adopts the EZPass system that is used from Maine in the far North-east, to Illinois/Wisconsin in the West, and to Virginia in the South; transponders are free from Massachusetts.

I have a MA provided transponders for my infrequent trips across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. Other states require you to purchase, pay a monthly rental fee, and/or pay an initial deposit (some refundable and some not). Transponders from MA have none of these added charges.
There was a recent article in the N&O that stated NC would allow drivers to use either of the two types of toll transponders in use in the U.S.

Drivers to have options on tolls - Traffic - NewsObserver.com
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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I'm still a bit confused. Where, exactly, are the tolls going to be placed?

From what I understand, from I-40 to Hwy 54 will be free, right? What about from I-40 to Hwy 70? Will there be a toll for those who want to take I-540 to Brier Creek?

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by T|K View Post
In addition, the law mandates the North Carolina Department of Transportation to maintain an existing, alternate, comparable non-toll route for each toll route constructed by the NCTA.[3]
This is interesting, assuming you are on 540 heading south to 54, what is the free alternative you have to get off 540 to get onto? Or are the tolls going to be just after 54?
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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The tolls will only begin south of NC54.

There has been some talk of tolling the northern half of 540 (or adding HOT lanes) when it is widened in the future. I honestly think that is only fair.

I think 540 could be tolled if they dropped the interstate designation and repayed the federal money that was used to build it in the first place. By my approximation, the total cost of building the northern half of 540 was apparently roughly $420 million in 2010 dollars. At 90% federal funding and without some sort of deal to lessen the amount refunded, that means NCDOT would owe the FHWA a total of $378 million before they could add tolls to the north half of 540.

HOT lanes could be added without refunding anything.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
Right, but wasn't that the part that they just builtin the past year and a holf or so. That's the part that they had to sell bonds to pay for and will need to do that for any future sections, which they need to use tolls to then pay off. The part of I540 that was first built was not funded through bonds, it was actually paid for through some sort of actual transportation fund. Thats what the difference is I believe. Again, I don't know the specifics.

All parts of 540, be it Interstate or NC 540, which is what the section between I40 and Hwy 55 is called were paid for by money from the NC State Highway trust fund and have come out of the Division 5 allocation under the "equity" forumla they use to spread that money around.

What they should have done was paid the $60 million back into the allocation for this area, we could have built some decent road projects with that. Instead, to make the pro-forma numbers work for the Toll project, they took that section over after it was paid for. They named it NC 540 so people would not be "confused" about it.

Also, they built bridges to allow for the continuation of what is now the Triangle Expressway to McCrimmon parkway, but because the numbers did not look good for tolling, they eliminated that section wasting another 10 million or so by my estimation.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:05 AM
 
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So how close to Green Level Rd is the future 540 going to be? Between it and 55?
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
I don't know the specifics, but they are not able to put tolls on the portion of I-540 which have already been built and paid for.

I know it irks a lot of people who will be tolled on the new portions and they feel it is unfair, but adding tolls throughout the exisitng parts of I-540 isn't going to happen.

Wasn't there a news article about Virginia putting tolls on I95 (which should also be not allowed), but they are making safety improvements to the road so the federal gov't would allow them to toll it after that.

I am looking into my crystal ball and I see improvements put on the north section of I540 as soon as the finish the entire loop and then they will toll it all.
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