Truck discount extended on Central Texas toll road

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 3/14/2013

Truckers will pay the same rate as four wheelers for the next 12 months on the SH 130 toll road in Central Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation says the discount is an incentive to reduce truck traffic on Interstate 35 through Austin.

A five-axle truck will pay $11 – an $18 savings – to run segments 1-4 of the SH 130 and the SH 45E, TxDOT says.

The rate will last from April 1 of this year through March 30, 2014.

If the discount sounds familiar, it is. TxDOT experimented with the price reduction in late 2011 and early 2012, and reported a 50 percent increase in truck toll transactions. TxDOT tried it again from Feb. 4 through March 3 of this year, posting similar results.

Some OOIDA members reported to Land Line that they would consider using the toll road at the reduced rate. Others said a traffic reduction on I-35 meant they would stay with I-35.

Central Texas no longer accepts cash on its toll roads. Payment options include TxTag and pay-by-mail. Paying by mail comes with a $1.15 monthly fee.

The SH 130 and SH 45E discounts do not apply to other Austin-area toll roads such as Loop 1, SH 45N, 183A and 290 East, the agency says.

Last year, the SH 130 toll road between Seguin and Georgetown became the first tollway in the U.S. to post an 85 mph speed limit. The limit applies to trucks as well as cars.

Driving traffic to the tollway, through the discount and a higher speed limit, allows TxDOT to collect an extra $33 million from the tollway operator, a consortium consisting of Cintra of Spain and Texas-based Zachry American Infrastructure.

See related stories:
Truck discount pays off for Austin toll road
TxDOT gets a kickback for creating 85 mph limit on toll road

Copyright © OOIDA