View Full Version : You build a toll road and then - WTH???

05-19-2015, 07:16 PM
Toll rates on the Interstate 10 managed lanes will increase May 30 as officials seek to ease congestion by reducing use of the lanes during peak hours.

The rates will go up by as much as $1.20 at each of the three tolling points along the 12-mile route. With the increase, the price of a complete trip along the lanes will jump from $7 to $10 at peak commuting times.

It's the first time since the lanes opened in 2009 the price has increased by $1 or more at the Eldridge, Wilcrest and Wirt toll plazas. Officials adjust the rates to keep the lanes flowing. The higher the demand, the higher the toll price goes.

"This is the only tool we have to manage the congestion on the lanes," said Lisa Castaneda, deputy director of the Harris County Toll Road Authority.

Judged in 15 minute intervals, the goal is to have between 1,800 to 2,000 vehicles use the HOV lane and the same number use the toll lane each hour. Prices are set to achieve that.

Castaneda said at the current rate of $3.20 at Eldridge and $1.90 at Wilcrest and Wirt during peak commutes, about 20 percent more vehicles are using the lanes than optimal. By raising rates, she said, officials hope more people will choose alternatives such public transportation or a carpool.

"We don't need everybody to change," she said. "But those who can, we want them to explore that alternative."

Officials acknowledge some toll users will be upset, but they stress that the congestion pricing strategy - also used in other major metro areas - is intended to change behavior.

"We have gained nothing if everyone gets angry and pays the $10," Castaneda said.

Chron (http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Peak-I-10-toll-price-jumping-to-10-6273554.php?cmpid=bna&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=breaking_news&utm_campaign=20150519_BN6273554)