TxDOT to Reduce the Price Trucks Pay for Tolls
AUSTIN, April 1, 2016 - The Texas Transportation Commission today voted to give trucks a break on the cost of tolls when they drive on State Highway 130 (from the I-35 exit in Georgetown to US 183 exit in Buda) and State Highway 45SE as part of the Truck Toll Discount Program approved by the 84th Legislature. The truck toll discount will be offered in two phases, beginning April 18 through October 31 and again from November 1 through Aug. 31, 2017.
“By getting some of these big rigs to use SH 130, during peak hours, we will help ease some of the gridlock we see on I-35 through Austin,” said Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director James Bass. “This will get drivers to their destinations quicker by saving them time that otherwise would be spent in traffic.”
“While this item is not a silver bullet, it is one more tool to increase mobility in our urban core,” said Rep. Celia Israel. “While we in the legislature have been wringing our hands over congestion and safety, we have done little to provide immediate relief. Funding a program to reduce the tolls on the TxDOT portions of SH130 and SH 45 SE for truck traffic represents a concrete action to improve congestion without actually requiring more concrete.”
The commission is offering the truck toll discount in compliance with the 84th Legislative Session. In total, the legislature approved $18.7 million over two years (subject to availability) to provide a toll discount for large trucks traveling on SH 130 and on SH 45SE.
Toll rates on other Austin-area toll roads, including Loop 1, SH 45N, 183A Toll, 290 Toll and SH 130 (from Mustang Ridge to Seguin) are not affected by this program.
TxDOT last offered a truck toll discount during a pilot program from April 2013 to December 2013. During that time, truck toll transactions increased more than 36 percent on SH 130/SH 45SE.
Last month, TxDOT unveiled TexasClearLanes.com as a tool to keep Texans informed of the agency’s efforts to address traffic congestion. The website – part of a $1.3 billion effort to address gridlock in Texas’ most heavily traveled major metropolitan areas – comes at a time when the agency is most focused on improving travel times for drivers as the state’s population continues to boom.