While I was down in Dallas for Thanksgiving I saw a billboard for Texas’ new high tech toll road on State Highway 121.
It’s a toll road without toll booths. You can pay with an electronic toll tag or without one. Either way, there’s no stopping or slowing down to pay.So if there is no booth, how do you pay?
The first of its kind in the country, the Texas Department of Transportation’s State Highway 121 will make everyone’s life a little easier in the northern Metroplex area.
If you don’t have a toll tag, you’re still welcome to use SH121. There’s no need to prepay or register. Just get on, and we’ll record your license plate, match the license plate number with the state’s vehicle registration file, and send you a monthly bill for your toll charges.So not only is the idea of toll booths done away with, but the idea of toll violators. The underlying assumption is not that drivers are criminals, but customers. What a novel idea. I contacted Jack Damrill, public relations for OTA, and asked him if this was in the future for Oklahoma. I got the impression that they were cool on the idea, the official position seems to be “We will watch what happens in Texas.”
I’m not sure why we would not want to implement video tolling. Getting rid of toll booths would eliminate the need for the employees to man the booths; it would reduce unnatural congestion points, and would make the toll roads more accessible. But if our official stance is “wait and see,” I guess we will wait and see.
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