‘Starter’ TollTags now available for purchase

Posted Friday, Oct. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The North Texas Tollway Authority’s new program for cheaper “starter” TollTags has gone into effect.

The new tags, aimed at people who don’t use toll roads frequently, cost $20, half the price of regular tags.

With the new accounts, drivers’ credit or debit cards will be charged another $20 when their account drops below $5.

Starter tag users will be automatically converted to regular accounts if they rack up $40 in monthly tolls three months in a row.

Officials created the program after surveying drivers who use toll roads but don’t have automatic-payment tags. More than half said they didn’t use toll roads enough to justify initial and recurring fees of $40 required by normal accounts.

TollTags have become a fact of life for commuters around Dallas, but not so much on the western side of the Metroplex.

However, that will be changing in coming years with the opening of the Chisholm Trail Parkway, a 28-mile toll road from southwest Fort Worth to Cleburne that is scheduled to open in about a year. And managed toll lanes are expected to open in several years on area freeways, including Texas 114/121 in Grapevine, Texas 121/183 and Loop 820 in Northeast Tarrant County, Interstate 35W north of downtown Fort Worth, and Interstate 30 from Fielder Road in Arlington into Dallas.

The tollway authority’s electronic TollTag accounts are a way to prepay tolls. Motorists with a TollTag pay a much lower rate for using the tollways than motorists who choose the ZipCash method under which a license plate is photographed and the user is sent a bill in the mail.

This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives.

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