RALEIGH — The N.C. Turnpike Authority says it did business with 4,400 paying customers Tuesday, the first day of toll collections, on the first 3.7 miles of the Triangle Expressway. (See today's story with reader comments.)
The turnpike authority has set cautious goals for traffic levels on its first toll road, with a target of reaching 8,000 to 11,000 cars a day by next July. So the first-day traffic count is about halfway there.
Even though the turnpike authority has sold 10,400 N.C. Quick Pass transponders for TriEx drivers who want to pay the lowest toll roate, most of the cars that used the toll road Tuesday were not equipped with transponders.
About 39 percent of the cars had transponders. Their tolls -- 50 cents for the whole 3.7 miles one-way, or 30 cents for a partial trip -- were deducted from their prepaid accounts.
The other 61 percent did not have transponders. They will receive bills in the mail for their tolls, 77 cents or 45 cents for a one-way trip.