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Old 05-21-2016, 08:38 AM   #1
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Dallas tollways

I just have to complain about this, I need the community's ear for some Saturday morning therapy.

In March we went to Dallas to visit family for a couple of weeks. We came in on a toll way from I-35 to Lewisville, but I never did see any toll booths. I kept driving until my exit, got to the CG and checked in, disconnected the AS. We were there for 2 weeks.

We went to visit family the next morning and I asked about the tolls. They said that tolls were collected by using cameras to photo license plates, look you up, then bill you. Since we were from out of state we wouldn't be billed and to enjoy the free ride.

Well, it wasn't a free ride. In yesterday's mail I got 2 bills from the Texas Toll Authority. I know it's a toll road and I figured I'd get a bill from them. I just wasn't expecting sticker shock. The bill for the car was OK, we were there 2 weeks and were on the toll road between the CG and their house about every other day. That bill was $25. The AS was towed in and towed out 2 weeks later. That bill was $48. I think that's more than outrageous. That's 41 miles or $1.17 a mile.

I'll pay the bill but I certainly won't use their toll way anymore. If they had posted it's a $1.17 a mile I would have found a different route.

So if you're going through Dallas, be warned, they do bill out of state vehicles and the rate for trailers is high, IMHO.
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:49 AM   #2
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Yes, I used to live in DFW. The toll roads there are a rip off. Make sure you pay the bills otherwise they will stick the collection service dogs on you and you'll end up paying much more.

When I lived there one option was to use the toll way system to get to work the other is to use the service roads and other highways. I'd get to work sooner going the toll route but only by 15 or 20 minutes. I calculated the yearly toll cost to around $1100. Luckily my job shifted to a closer location so I didn't need to worry about it.

Toll roads are just legalized extortion. I guess the next thing will be what Oregon wants to do, put a device on your car to charge you by the mile.

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Old 05-21-2016, 09:46 AM   #3
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Now there is good reason to have a Fiamma bike rack on the back of the Airstream...to hide the license plate from tollway cameras!
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:53 AM   #4
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Maybe that's why 007 ( Bond. James Bond) had the flip tags on his Aston Martin
Florida also does the toll by plate. I got one of their sun pass thingees this past winter to avoid the late charges.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:56 AM   #5
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Same problem in Austin - toll road is supposed to relieve traffic through town on I35 but the cost is prohibitive if you have more than 2 axles - therefore most truck traffic and travel trailers pass through Austin on I35 which is also significantly shorter. Another great Texas plan.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Toll roads are just legalized extortion.
Bull droppings! Toll roads are a way to recoup the cost of building and maintaining the road, which was probably built by supplementing the Federal and State highway appropriations with bond issues. Those bonds have to be repaid somehow, and tolls are one way to do it. Tolls are fairer than some methods, because only those who use the road pay the toll— as opposed to, say, a millage added onto the local and/or state sales tax so that people who don't use the road pay for it.

Personally, I avoid toll roads and toll bridges whenever possible, even if it means driving out of my way to do it— unless the extra cost of fuel to go around is more than the cost of the toll. And my GPS is programmed to avoid toll roads. But even when a toll road or toll bridge is unavoidable, I don't ever assume that I can use a toll road for free just because I'm from out of state, and I don't ever use a toll road without finding out how much the toll will be first. I have yet to see a toll road where you can't look up the toll prices online— not to say there aren't any, just that I haven't encountered any in the last decade or so.

So I hope no one will be too terribly offended if I have little sympathy for the OP in this case.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:45 AM   #7
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If you plan to travel in Tx on the toll roads, get a toll tag. It will significantly reduce your toll. I think it is also good in Ok. Tolls also vary with time of day with tolls being higher during peak traffic times.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:52 AM   #8
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For most toll roads in Texas, the big price increase is a 4th axle. A single-axle trailer bumps up the price a bit, but for example on TX 130 avoiding the Austin traffic morass, towing my tandem-axle Argosy which doesn't weigh any more than my F150 costs about the same as an 80,000-lb semi.
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
For most toll roads in Texas, the big price increase is a 4th axle. A single-axle trailer bumps up the price a bit, but for example on TX 130 avoiding the Austin traffic morass, towing my tandem-axle Argosy which doesn't weigh any more than my F150 costs about the same as an 80,000-lb semi.
Using the Dallas toll roads, although new, we found most of our belongings scattered in the floor of the AS because of the washboard concrete; very rough road. That's the only road I've been on where the cutting board bounced up of the sink and into the floor. That Interstate isn't much better than US82 coming across Mississippi and Arkansas.

How viable is it to come across from Greenville on US 380 to Denton, then south on 268 to I-35E? We stayed in Lewisville, nice campground.
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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Let me start by sharing my feeling about toll roads and parking meters. they are both methods of legalized theft concocted by our crooked politicians and bureaucrats to make it simpler to line their own pockets and those of their friends.

Now to my own horrific toll story. Several years ago, we were in the Denver area and happened on one of their then new toll roads. The toll for our tow vehicle was $2.75. This I considered somewhat reasonable for use of this roadway. What shocked me was when I added the Airstream into the mix, the same toll became over $22.00! Needless to say, I will never use that road again.

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Old 05-21-2016, 01:20 PM   #11
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Bull droppings! Toll roads are a way to recoup the cost of building and maintaining the road,-- snip -- I have yet to see a toll road where you can't look up the toll prices online -- snip -- I have little sympathy for the OP in this case.
Pro - normally you are spot on, but in this case, you miss the point. A toll of $48 is outrageous for a recreational trailer to travel 41 miles. Use fees are supposed to be representative. When the car gets a minimal fee, but the trailer gets the blanket, it is legal theft. We didn't get a bill from Dallas the last time we visited. It's common. However, we did not tow the trailer. Appears the protocol, published or not, is to bill higher cost fees, which shifts the burden of the cost of construction to the multi-axle crowd. That is not a representative assignment of user fees and is no more fair than spreading the cost to all using roads through fuel taxes, which at least is proportional and encourages efficient use of resources.

As to looking up toll road fees prior - just about every state prohibits the use of an electronic device while driving, so looking up info requires prior planning. Certainly doable, but not expected to be necessary in the world of fair user fees and everyone is electronics literate or adept at negotiating government documents/websites.

As an effort to help others - note that the bridges around San Francisco Bay charge $5 for a car and $20 for a 4 axle rig. But to and from is same cost. The return trip is free. They only charge one way. So in this respect, California is not as expensive as Texas. What a surprise.

Travel safe and check on the tolls first. Pat
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:41 PM   #12
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I also think that's an excessive toll but let me throw something into the discussion that just might explain things. Only a deeper inquiry, however, might answer the question.

A few years ago we crossed from NJ into Pennsylvania using I 78. It's a toll crossing paid one direction ( westbound ). I think it's only a $2 crossing for a pass. vehicle and supposed to be $1.50 for each additional axel. We were traveling in our pickup and towing a 2 axel Airstream. We used the high speed EZ-pass lane and didn't check our account for several weeks. When I did I found we had been charged $13.00. When I inquired I found that the high speed lane senses our truck/trailer combination as a 18wheel tractor/trailer and charges us the commercial rate. Therefore the higher charge. They corrected the charges and refunded the difference after conduction an investigation into the date / times and confirming our vehicle. Could this be what's happening in the Texas toll cases ??? Try making some phone calls to confirm. In our travels this crossing from NJ - Pa has been the only occurrence of incorrect toll charges assessed to our EZ-pass that I have found. Since then, when using this crossing, ( and we use it frequently) I find that avoiding the high speed lane and using the toll booth Ez-pass will assess the correct toll. However, since the Texas location has no booth and only cameras there is no other option. Write / call and find out what the proper toll charge should be.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:12 PM   #13
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Francis Scott KEY BRIDGE - Baltimore

Now you can't LEGALLY go through any downtown tunnels in Baltimore though someone who lives there (Frank) says it's done all the time. The other fast way to get to 301 south is over the FS Key Bridge. Ask me what a Tri-axle AVION cost - $32! And then there's the Potomac River bridge from MD to VA - no toll going north - going south with the AVION $24. - No easy pass mistake, humans smiling as they counted axles.

So everything ISN'T bigger in Texas.

But almost anything beats I-95 between Baltimore and Richmond.

It's only money. Yeah. Paula
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
I also think that's an excessive toll but let me throw something into the discussion that just might explain things. Only a deeper inquiry, however, might answer the question.

A few years ago we crossed from NJ into Pennsylvania using I 78. It's a toll crossing paid one direction ( westbound ). I think it's only a $2 crossing for a pass. vehicle and supposed to be $1.50 for each additional axel. We were traveling in our pickup and towing a 2 axel Airstream. We used the high speed EZ-pass lane and didn't check our account for several weeks. When I did I found we had been charged $13.00. When I inquired I found that the high speed lane senses our truck/trailer combination as a 18wheel tractor/trailer and charges us the commercial rate. Therefore the higher charge. They corrected the charges and refunded the difference after conduction an investigation into the date / times and confirming our vehicle. Could this be what's happening in the Texas toll cases ??? Try making some phone calls to confirm. In our travels this crossing from NJ - Pa has been the only occurrence of incorrect toll charges assessed to our EZ-pass that I have found. Since then, when using this crossing, ( and we use it frequently) I find that avoiding the high speed lane and using the toll booth Ez-pass will assess the correct toll. However, since the Texas location has no booth and only cameras there is no other option. Write / call and find out what the proper toll charge should be.
It's NOT what's happening on TX 130 around Austin, at least. I can't say specifically about the other toll roads in Texas, but I've checked their toll schedule. Purely about axles, no break for non-commercial vehicles is mentioned on their rate schedule. 2 axles costs X, 3 axles costs 2X, 4 5 or 6 axles costs 3x. So, towing my relatively light tandem-axle 24' Argosy costs the same as a tandem-trailer semi.
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