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Author Topic: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail  (Read 6918 times)

wxfree

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Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« on: June 24, 2013, 08:25:03 PM »

The toll rate table on the Camino Colombia Toll Road (Texas State Highway 255) is being adjusted so that tolls are based on the number of axles.  Previously, large 2-axle vehicles were charged a higher toll than passenger cars.

Also, tolls owed by drivers without a TxTag or other interoperable transponder account will be collected by mail.  Previously, non-tag users were required to pre-pay tolls by telephone, a so-called "Day Pass."  Drivers with neither a tag account nor a Day Pass were charged a violation fee.  The passenger car TxTag toll of $3 remains the same and will apply to other 2-axle vehicles.  The previous passenger car Day Pass toll of $3.99 will be charged to Pay-by-Mail users, along with a fee of $1.15 per bill.  Tolls for larger vehicles may change, depending on size and configuration.

The changes (presuming the TTC approves them) will take effect around July 17.

ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/adm/2013/documents/minute_orders/jun27/9c.pdf
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kphoger

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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 08:43:13 PM »

SHIT!

I use that road to cross the border, and a Day Pass account is what I have.  Maybe I'll be buying a TxTag after all, folks.........

The FTP link you provided doesn't work, by the way.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 08:52:32 PM »

SHIT!

I use that road to cross the border, and a Day Pass account is what I have.  Maybe I'll be buying a TxTag after all, folks.........

The FTP link you provided doesn't work, by the way.

I suspected you'd be unhappy.  If you have money in a Day Pass account, the FAQ page says the account can be converted to a TxTag account, and presumably your money will be put into that account.

The FTP link works in Firefox; I didn't think to check other browsers.  None of my other browsers likes the link if it's clicked on.  They do accept it if you copy it and paste it into the address bar.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 08:55:13 PM by wxfree »
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kphoger

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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 10:06:28 PM »

Hmmm.... Didn't work in Chrome or Explorer.

TxTag stopped taking calls at 7:00 this evening, so I'll have to call them in the morning for more info.  Thank you SO much for posting this.  It would have been quite worse for me to find it out at the last minute.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 12:29:03 AM »

Hmmm.... Didn't work in Chrome or Explorer.

TxTag stopped taking calls at 7:00 this evening, so I'll have to call them in the morning for more info.  Thank you SO much for posting this.  It would have been quite worse for me to find it out at the last minute.

The minute order doesn't say anything about ending Day Pass.  I assumed that part.  The new toll rate table changes the Day Pass rate to the "PBM" rate.  It ends with:

Quote
1.) Pay By Mail (PBM) rates do not include $1.15 statement fee.
2.) A 33% surcharge (for PBM) over the TxTag rate is applied.

It might be best to wait until Friday.  The people may not be informed of the change until it's official.  And it is possible the order will not be adopted.  I watch the recording of each meeting, and almost everything is passed unanimously with minimal contention.  By the time it gets to this point, it's just about as good as done, but it isn't official yet.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 01:54:55 PM »

That worked.  Thanks!
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 02:17:42 PM »

OK.  After reading that FTP document, I can see that all they're doing is changing the way they determine how much to charge for a toll.  In fact, as you can see, the toll prices aren't even changing by one cent.

The current system, as follows (in ascending order of price), uses body style as the determining factor:
(1) Passenger vechicle, motorcycle, light truck, or SUV ($3.00/$3.99);
(2) Unibody commercial truck or bus ($4.00/$5.32);
(3) Passenger vehicle towing a trailer ($5.00/$6.65);
(4) Commercial vehicle with one trailer ($9.00/$11.97);
(5) Commercial vehicle with two trailers ($15.00/$19.95).

The new system, as follows, uses number of axles as the determining factor:
(1) Two axles ($3.00/$3.99);
(2) Three axles ($4.00/$5.32);
(3) Four axles ($5.00/$6.65);
(4) Five axles ($9.00/$11.97);
(5) Six axles ($15.00/$19.95).

I wouldn't take the absence of "Day Pass" on the new toll schedule to mean it's being done away with.  After all, the current schedule doesn't include "Pay by Mail", but it's still possible to pay by mail.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 03:07:25 PM »

All the rates remain the same, what may change is which rates apply.  Large 2-axle trucks will pay less.  A combination on six axles with only one trailer will pay more.

I looked up the old minute order declaring the existing toll rates (for some reason this one already has the "http" instead of "ftp" at the beginning; I never noticed they were different)

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/adm/2009/documents/minute_orders/mar26/9j.pdf

That doesn't include Day Pass, either; it specifies "PBM" tolls.  There may be a minute order somewhere else stating that Pay By Mail rates on this road are used for Day Pass and that a Day Pass is required for non-tag transactions.  If this is the case, then the only valid part of this discussion is the change in vehicle classification.  I wouldn't have started this discussion if I'd thought that was the only change.

I don't know where TxDOT gets the authority to implement the Day Pass program.  I haven't seen that minute order.  The current one does not amend the program, and the old toll rate minute order specifies Pay By Mail but still uses Day Pass.  That leaves the meaning uncertain.

I'm quite compulsive about finding information I want.  My speed limit map was a major pain.  I have minute orders to find the 75 mph speed zones back to June 2005, but I had to use Google Street View to find all the older ones.  It was worth it because I wanted to get the project done, but once I learned the pattern, that made it a lot easier.  I find it likely I'll comb through all the agendas in the database until I find the origin of the Day Pass program.  I won't do it now, but before too long I'll no longer tolerate not knowing.
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kphoger

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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 09:15:40 PM »

Well, the first time I used the Camino Colombia was March 2009, and I was able to pay a $2 cash toll.  By the time we used it again, in March 2010, they had eliminated the toll booth and set up an camera gantry.  From then on, we've been using a Day Pass account.  We usually go with two vehicles, so I've just called to update "my" vehicle information every year to include the second person's vehicle.

If it helps you dig up the old information:
The elimination of the toll booths occurred on June 1, 2009.  Leading up to the change, during the month of May, TxTag users were allowed to use the road for free.  I don't remember with 100% certainty, but I seem to remember the road being cash only before the change.  That would mean both TxTag and PBM operability began on June 1, 2009.  By early April 2009, they were already handing out flyers about the upcoming change, as evidenced by an expat forum post.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 09:30:56 PM »

I done been through all the agendas from 2007 to 2009 and didn't find nothin'.  (a bit of Texas speak)

I did find some interesting details about TxDOT and NTTA agreements I'll be looking over, but nothing about Camino Colombia Day Passes.  I even looked in the administrative code to see if it was hidden there.

Without explicit information on a planned change or an understanding of how it's set up, it looks like the Day Pass program may not be changing.  We'll know for sure eventually.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 05:06:17 PM »

The video of the meeting isn't available yet, but the updated agenda shows that this item was deferred.  It'll likely happen sometime, but didn't happen today.  For now, nothing changes.  I'll watch the video later and see if the Day Pass matter or any other interesting matter is discussed.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2013, 02:13:29 PM »

I figured I'd give an update from the field:  I just used the Camino Colombia about four weeks ago, using my pay-by-mail account.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2013, 03:35:24 PM »

I figured I'd give an update from the field:  I just used the Camino Colombia about four weeks ago, using my pay-by-mail account.

It's been bugging me that I may have put inaccurate information here.  And then I forgot to mention that the change was approved in July.  If I'd found out I was wrong I was going to edit my original post to make note of the mistake.  The web site has still not been updated.  I thought of calling TxTag customer service line, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Thank you for the report.  In the July meeting they didn't discuss this specific matter, so I was still wondering.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2013, 03:50:11 PM »

I called ahead of my trip a couple of times, and none of the customer service reps knew anything about a change.  And my pay-by-mail account worked fine on both August 4 and August 10.  As far as I can tell, nothing is changing.  The toll schedule has always left out the day pass account, so the fact that it's missing again means nothing.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2013, 04:15:32 PM »

I called ahead of my trip a couple of times, and none of the customer service reps knew anything about a change.  And my pay-by-mail account worked fine on both August 4 and August 10.  As far as I can tell, nothing is changing.  The toll schedule has always left out the day pass account, so the fact that it's missing again means nothing.

This isn't entirely clear to me.  Are you saying that you used pay-by-mail instead of Day Pass?  My understanding is that Day Pass is required, but that you'd be billed by mail if you spent more than you'd prepaid for the pass.

The toll rate table in the old minute order shows Pay By Mail rather than Day Pass, but somehow they administered it differently  The table on the web site shows Day Pass, but it's the old table.  I've been waiting for the new table with the axle-based rates to see if the bottom row is labelled Day Pass or Pay By Mail.  http://caminocolombia.org/img/rates.png  The new rates were scheduled to take effect on or about August 21, but TxDOT sometimes takes a while to get the web sites changed to reflect other changes that have been made.
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Re: Camino Colombia Toll Road to change to Pay-by-Mail
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2013, 04:20:39 PM »

Basically, both PBM and the Day Pass have been available options since June 1, 2009.  But, as far as I can tell, no toll schedule has actually listed both of them—one or the other, but not both.  It seems to be implied that the rates for one are the rates for the other.  A new toll schedule coming out with only one option listed shouldn't cause alarm, since that's just the norm for the CCTR.
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