How Tolls Are Done in Texas

I wrote about the worst toll road I’ve ever been on, but I did not actually explain how tolls are done in Texas. Unlike the poor engineering of the roads, Texas is on to something in the way they do tolls. The times I would visit Chicago, I would think it was stupid to have to stop all the time for toll booths. I remember that you could get an I-PASS, but as infrequently as I visited, I didn’t see it as worth it. I’d see the warning signs saying if I went into the I-PASS lanes without an I-PASS, it would take a picture of my license plate and send me a fine.

Now that got me thinking. If they could take pictures of license plates and send a fine, why couldn’t people just pass through and they could take a picture of their license plate and they send them a bill in the mail? I guess someone in Texas had the same thought because that is how tolls work there.

The toll road in the following video is Loop 1 or “Mo-Pac.” The speed limit is 75mph and you just drive through as it takes a picture of your license plate.

With the toll system, you can get what is called a TxTag, which is like the I-PASS. Instead of them taking a picture of your license plate, tallying it up at the end of the month, and then sending you a monthly invoice, as well as fee for the invoice, the TxTag sets up an account that you preload with money and save the invoice fee. The tolls are also slightly cheaper. I personally have a TxTag on my car.

It is nice having tolls like this. In most cases, this allows a toll road to be the true express route in which paying the toll is worth the time saved. Obviously, this isn’t the case in some examples, but overall it is one thing that Texas does that is very efficient.

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