John McNeill: A heavy toll

December 28, 2012 

A heavy toll

The toll rates for two-axle vehicles for the Triangle Expressway range from approximately 30 cents per mile to 65 cents per mile with the easy pass. Those rates increase to a range of 45 cents per mile to $1.25 per mile without the pass. These rates are projected to increase 5 percent each July 1.

To put that in context with a road that many in this area are likely familiar with, it would cost somewhere between $33.90 and $73.45 cents with a pass, or $50.85 to $141.25 without a pass, to travel the 113 miles of the New Jersey Turnpike. The actual cost for those 113 miles on the N.J. Turnpike today is a mere $13.85 (about 12 cents a mile).

The TriEx tolls seem to impose a heavy burden for the people of southwestern Wake County.

I haven’t done the math or studied the traffic volumes, but I suspect that if the entire length of NC-540 and I-540 were made a toll road then the rate might even be able to drop to something in the 10 cents to 15 cents per mile range. At least then it would be fair to all who live in or near the Triangle.

John McNeill

Cary

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