Motorists will pay a little extra to drive on North Texas toll roads beginning Saturday.
The North Texas Tollway Authority is raising toll rates by about a penny per mile. The average cost of driving on Dallas-Fort Worth toll roads and using a windshield TollTag to pay electronically will be 18.01 cents, up from 17.06 cents.
Drivers who use toll roads but don’t have TollTags pay about 50 percent more. In those instances, drivers’ license plates are photographed and the registered owner is mailed a bill.
The tollway authority is based in Plano but oversees toll roads throughout the region, including Chisholm Trail Parkway in Fort Worth and Cleburne.
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Since 2009, the tollway authority has automatically raised toll rates every two years, using a formula to offset the cost of maintenance and debt service. The agency is repaying $9.5 billion in bonds issued to build its toll roads, and plans to spend $900 million on road widenings and other improvements through 2022, said Kenneth Barr, the tollway authority’s board chairman.
Barr, a former mayor of Fort Worth, urged motorists to save money by getting a TollTag, which can be used not only on NTTA roads but also on toll roads in many other states.
“NTTA’s goal is to have every driver in a cost-saving TollTag,” he said in an email. “It makes good sense because it is the least expensive and most convenient way for drivers to safely travel throughout Texas, Oklahoma and now Kansas.”
TollTags can be also used on the region’s TEXPress lanes, including those on Loop 820 and Texas 121/183 in Tarrant County, even those toll lanes aren’t managed by NTTA. TEXPress lanes are privately-managed toll lanes, with rates that vary based on congestion minute-by-minute — and those toll rates are often much higher than on NTTA roads.
For information on toll roads and TollTags, visit www.ntta.org.