Truckers using toll roads in the Austin, TX, area will get an extended break on the cost of tolls in an effort by the state to encourage more commercial vehicles to travel the toll roads. Beginning April 1, 2013, TxDOT announced it will be offering reduced tolls for trucks on State Highway 130 and State Highway 45SE. For a year, truckers on those highways will pay the same tolls as a two-axle passenger vehicle.
This yearlong discount follows several short-term discounts that TxDOT implemented in the past few months in an effort to woo truckers to use the toll roads. During the last discount period (Feb. 4 - March 3), TxDOT saw close to a 50% increase of trucks using the tolls compared to the same time period in 2012.
For trucks with four axles or more, the discount provides more than a 67% discount. TxDOT is hoping truck drivers will take advantage of the offer and help ease traffic on I-35.
“By getting some of our big rigs off I-35, we are making Central Texas roads safer,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director in a KVUE News report. “Moreover, people driving on I-35 will see some most-needed congestion relief, which is going to help them get to and from work easier and improve their quality of life. At the end of the year we will have a full set of data to see the cost/benefits and look for other opportunities to extend.”
The pilot program will end on March 30, 2014.