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Author Topic: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road  (Read 6107 times)

FreewayDan

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The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« on: July 12, 2016, 10:07:24 PM »

This Friday at noon, the Hardy Toll Road, including the Airport Connector spur, will be closed to allow HCTRA to demolish the toll plazas.  When these toll roads reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, only vehicles equipped with an EZ Tag (TxTag/Toll Tag OK) will be permitted.  At the same time, the Hardy Toll Road interchnage at the Grand Parkway will open.
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/east_montgomery/news/hardy-toll-road-airport-connectors-will-be-closed-this-weekend/article_132e9bfc-faf5-5fc2-9e17-f5d2d5b02560.html

HCTRA is offering another oprtion for an EZ Tag: a BancPass EZ Tag.  The BancPass option would let users pay with cash at HEB, CVS and Corner Store.
https://www.bancpass.com/

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mgk920

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2016, 11:19:45 AM »

E-ZPass/photo?

Mike
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FreewayDan

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2016, 10:02:25 PM »

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The Ghostbuster

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 05:14:25 PM »

Personally, I think cash collection on toll roads should be obsolete. It should be 100% electronic.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2016, 11:15:58 AM »

I would not mind all toll roads being electronic, but with one very key qualifier:
One single nation-wide tag reading system!
There's not enough room on a windshield for a bunch of different tags! Let there be only one!

Lots of drivers on longer distance trips are literally forced to shun-pike because they don't have a compatible RFID tag. I have an Oklahoma PikePass, which works on some other toll roads, but it's not compatible with most of the toll roads in Texas. I think the NTTA controlled toll roads in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are still the only ones that are PikePass compatible.
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noelbotevera

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2016, 06:29:49 PM »

I would not mind all toll roads being electronic, but with one very key qualifier:
One single nation-wide tag reading system!
There's not enough room on a windshield for a bunch of different tags! Let there be only one!

Lots of drivers on longer distance trips are literally forced to shun-pike because they don't have a compatible RFID tag. I have an Oklahoma PikePass, which works on some other toll roads, but it's not compatible with most of the toll roads in Texas. I think the NTTA controlled toll roads in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are still the only ones that are PikePass compatible.
EZPass works in at least 16 states.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2016, 11:19:28 PM »

EZ Pass doesn't work in Oklahoma. There is no reciprocal agreement between OTA/PikePass and EZ Pass.

The toll tag situation in Texas is pretty stupid IMHO. There's at least 3 or more toll tag systems in use and not all work on every road. For instance Tomball Parkway (TX-249) North of Houston apparently only accepts EZ Tag (different from EZ Pass). Same goes for the Hardy Toll Road. TX Tag works almost everywhere else in Texas.
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mgk920

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2016, 01:14:46 AM »

What's the penalty for 'no compatible transponder'?

 :hmmm:

Mike
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jlwm

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2016, 01:36:23 AM »

EZ Pass doesn't work in Oklahoma. There is no reciprocal agreement between OTA/PikePass and EZ Pass.

The toll tag situation in Texas is pretty stupid IMHO. There's at least 3 or more toll tag systems in use and not all work on every road. For instance Tomball Parkway (TX-249) North of Houston apparently only accepts EZ Tag (different from EZ Pass). Same goes for the Hardy Toll Road. TX Tag works almost everywhere else in Texas.

I've used TxTag on the Tomball Parkway.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2016, 01:01:58 PM »

That's interesting. There are signs at the entrances of Tomball Parkway saying EZ-TAG only. No others logos for TX Tag or NTTA. The same thing applies to the Hardy Toll Road.

Simple common sense might lead one to think the decision makers at these various toll road agencies would be extremely motivated to achieve toll tag interoperability on as many turnpikes nationwide as possible. The problem has to be costing them a serious amount of money. If I have doubts the tag on my windshield will work on a certain turnpike I'll just avoid using that road.

Having multiple tags on the windshield might be a solution, but who wants to have a bunch of stickers obscuring the view? The worse problem is the risk of getting double-billed for driving a toll road where two or more agencies have a tag interoperability agreement. For instance if I got a TX Tag to use on toll roads in Austin and Houston I might get double billed for driving on managed toll lanes in Dallas since my Oklahoma Pike Pass works on those NTTA roads. You can't just remove and re-apply any of these windshield stickers based on the toll road you're using. In the end motorists are stuck having to avoid certain toll roads completely. I won't drive on any toll roads in Houston or Austin due to the PikePass problem.

Basically all these agencies need to be moving to one single, unified tag or tag standard nationwide. That will improve toll road use numbers and help those agencies make more money (or be bleeding less red ink).
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Revive 755

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2016, 01:13:15 PM »

What's the penalty for 'no compatible transponder'?

 :hmmm:

Mike

The same as it would be for not having a transponder at all.
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wxfree

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2016, 01:57:39 PM »

EZ Pass doesn't work in Oklahoma. There is no reciprocal agreement between OTA/PikePass and EZ Pass.

The toll tag situation in Texas is pretty stupid IMHO. There's at least 3 or more toll tag systems in use and not all work on every road. For instance Tomball Parkway (TX-249) North of Houston apparently only accepts EZ Tag (different from EZ Pass). Same goes for the Hardy Toll Road. TX Tag works almost everywhere else in Texas.

TxTag, TollTag, and EZ TAG can all be used on all toll roads in Texas ("all toll roads in Texas" does not include toll bridges at international crossings, at none of which can any be used).  The signs do not have complete information.  NTTA signs often show TollTag and TxTag, but no EZ TAG and Austin-area signs generally show TxTag only.  It's silly to have three different brands that all do the same thing, but all three can be used everywhere, regardless of what the signs say.  We're expected to know that.  We're also expected to know that parking fees at DFW Airport and Love Field, which includes driving on International Parkway, can be paid with TollTag, but not the other two.  That function isn't a matter of interoperability (it's a parking fee, not a road toll), but is a convenience offered by the two airports.

Obviously, we should combine all three into one.  I doubt if that will happen for a while, because no one will want to give up their familiar brand.  Maybe we could combine them into a single system and just let people keep their favorite brand, since it really doesn't need to be anything more than the logo on the sticker.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 02:00:13 PM by wxfree »
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Brandon

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2016, 02:13:04 PM »

Why not just simply join the established EZ Pass system?  16 states and growing with one transponder.
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kphoger

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2016, 02:16:51 PM »

The worse problem is the risk of getting double-billed for driving a toll road where two or more agencies have a tag interoperability agreement. For instance if I got a TX Tag to use on toll roads in Austin and Houston I might get double billed for driving on managed toll lanes in Dallas since my Oklahoma Pike Pass works on those NTTA roads. You can't just remove and re-apply any of these windshield stickers based on the toll road you're using.

This is a big problem.  I know several people who drive somewhat regularly between Wichita and Houston.  If they had both a K-Tag and a TxTag, then they would likely be double-billed for any toll road driving they might do in Dallas–Fort Worth along the way.  I also know a couple of people who have moved from Dallas–Fort Worth to Wichita.  If they had a TxTag, AFAIK there is still not interoperability on the Kansas Turnpike and they would need to purchase a K-Tag; the same issue would then arise whenever they went back to Dallas–Fort Worth to visit.
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dfwmapper

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2016, 08:46:55 PM »

All the Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas tags will work on all toll roads in all 3 states starting early next year [citation: http://www.ksturnpike.com/assets/uploads/2016-02-15_iOP_Midwest_hub.pdf].

Why not just simply join the established EZ Pass system?  16 states and growing with one transponder.
E-ZPass sucks. It requires expensive hard-case active transponders that were technologically obsolete years ago. Also, at one point they had an exclusivity agreement where all the hardware had to be purchased from a single company. Not sure if that's still in effect, but that sort of provision wouldn't go over so well in red states (at least when they weren't involved in picking it to begin with).

The biggest problem with interoperability is that there are 3 primary standards for the tags, plus other oddball crap like Fastrak, GeauxPass hard cases, and MnPASS that are incompatible with everything else. None of the E-ZPass states except NC have readers that can read the other standards, and of non-E-ZPass states, only FL/GA/SC have readers that can read E-ZPass (though none have an agreement to actually accept it). In the other states, FL/KS/OK/TX could be fully interoperable with each other (plus sticker tags used in LA/NC/SC) without any hardware changes, and CO/GA/UT/WA could be interoperable with each other without hardware changes. GA/FL/NC have readers for all 3 standards and full interoperability between themselves. LA can read both sticker formats.

What really needs to happen is that E-ZPass needs to phase out the hard case transponders and move to one of the sticker standards, then either everyone else adopts that format, or everyone agrees to use dual-mode readers that support both.
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wxfree

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2016, 09:26:47 PM »

Quote
This partnership will allow travelers to use one electronic transponder to pay for tolls in the Midwest.

I wasn't notified when Texas was moved to the Midwest.

It should be noted that the current agreement between OTA and NTTA allows for interoperability only with the newer sticker tags.  There are still some older hard case TollTags in use.  Driving in a Pikepass lane with one of those is a violation.  I don't know the terms of the tri-state agreement, but Kansas may have the same limitation.  NTTA generally recommends upgrading to the free sticker tag and offers a refund of the deposit for the hard case transponder when it's returned.
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dfwmapper

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2016, 11:52:06 PM »

Quote
This partnership will allow travelers to use one electronic transponder to pay for tolls in the Midwest.

I wasn't notified when Texas was moved to the Midwest.
Nor Oklahoma, which isn't traditionally considered part of the Midwest. And, of course, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are, and none of the KS/OK/TX tags will work for them.
Quote
It should be noted that the current agreement between OTA and NTTA allows for interoperability only with the newer sticker tags.  There are still some older hard case TollTags in use.  Driving in a Pikepass lane with one of those is a violation.  I don't know the terms of the tri-state agreement, but Kansas may have the same limitation.  NTTA generally recommends upgrading to the free sticker tag and offers a refund of the deposit for the hard case transponder when it's returned.
Surprised that any of those still exist. Very limited use, just cases where one driver has 3+ vehicles and doesn't want to maintain a larger deposit with NTTA. And even then, you can still change the plate on sticker tags on the NTTA website and let the video system pick up your plate and deduct the toll at the tag rate from your account.
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mgk920

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2016, 11:55:10 PM »

What's the penalty for 'no compatible transponder'?

 :hmmm:

Mike

The same as it would be for not having a transponder at all.

Which is?

Mike
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thefro

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2016, 09:46:50 AM »

What really needs to happen is that E-ZPass needs to phase out the hard case transponders and move to one of the sticker standards, then either everyone else adopts that format, or everyone agrees to use dual-mode readers that support both.

Paying with a smartphone everywhere in the US, without relying on pictures of license plates (except for a backup), or needing a transponder/tag ought to be an option being developed considering we're halfway through 2016.

The tech's already in most phones so that can happen.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 09:49:21 AM by thefro »
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TXtoNJ

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2016, 10:26:26 AM »

Why not just simply join the established EZ Pass system?  16 states and growing with one transponder.

EZPass, TollTag and EZTag were all developed around the same time as one another. Interoperability wasn't seen as a big deal, since these were all originally geared toward local-ish and commuter traffic. It's only now, with the further integration of the Northeast Megalopolis, along with the adoption of electronic identity tolling by the long-haul turnpike systems and electronic-only conversions, that national integration makes sense.
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dfwmapper

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2016, 04:50:49 PM »

Paying with a smartphone everywhere in the US, without relying on pictures of license plates (except for a backup), or needing a transponder/tag ought to be an option being developed considering we're halfway through 2016.

The tech's already in most phones so that can happen.
There are all kinds of problems with that. First, I'm not entirely sure that the NFC in phones has enough range to be read while sitting in the center console or in a purse or anywhere else out of the way. There's a good reason why sticker tags have to be properly attached to the windshield and hard cases at least need to be close. Second, people forget their phones or let the batteries die all the time. Third, people take their phones with them when they're traveling in vehicles that aren't their own, and it would probably confuse the hell out of the system if a bus full of people went through a toll gantry and it picked up 15 phones with active accounts. Fourth, at least around here, toll roads already have the "Lexus lanes" perception, and a move to use smartphones for tolling (especially if it ends up in any way cheaper than a standard tag) would probably lead to legal challenges on behalf of those who can't afford a smartphone but still have to take a toll road to get to work.
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dvferyance

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2016, 06:07:17 PM »

Personally, I think cash collection on toll roads should be obsolete. It should be 100% electronic.
Why? If you don't want to pay cash you already have the option to get I Pass/ EZ Pass. I don't get why going 100% electronic is so important. I can see doing it on highways where most of the traffic are daily commuters. But for long distance traffic the cash option should remain.
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Rothman

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2016, 09:59:02 AM »

Personally, I think cash collection on toll roads should be obsolete. It should be 100% electronic.
Why? If you don't want to pay cash you already have the option to get I Pass/ EZ Pass. I don't get why going 100% electronic is so important. I can see doing it on highways where most of the traffic are daily commuters. But for long distance traffic the cash option should remain.

Cash payment at the time of travel requires a stop at a toll plaza.  Electronic payment does not.  It's idiotic to stop traffic when we don't need to anymore.

Of course, if by cash you mean by mail (by license reader), that works for me.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The end of cash collection on the Hardy Toll Road
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2016, 10:50:06 AM »

Toll plazas that have both cash payment lanes and electronic lanes can create all sorts of traffic weaving issues heading to the plaza and merging issues after the plaza. I see the problems all the time when I'm driving on I-44 here in Oklahoma.

The I-44 toll plaza just South of Newcastle is really bad. PikePass users get only a single lane that veers to the outer right of the cash lanes building in the middle of the toll plaza. People slowing for the cash lanes often drive in the right lane and block high speed flow of the single PikePass lane. The situation creates traffic tie ups; drivers expecting to pass through the plaza at 75mph might have to slam the brakes instead. It's a good recipe for rear-end collisions. Merging after the toll plaza can be tricky too. This toll plaza was built in the late 1990's, but OTA is planning to replace it in 2020. They still have the old-ass, slow plazas in Chickasha and Walters to replace ahead of this Newcastle project.

The toll plazas on the Turner Turnpike and Will Rogers turnpike are easier for PikePass users, but they're not without problems due to the continued availability of cash payment lanes. There is no shortage of motorists who drive with their heads firmly embedded in their asses. They'll drive along in the main travel lanes, even the left (passing) lane and only at the very last minute realize those are PikePass lanes. Some will realize, "oh crap, this is a toll plaza, not another fuel & food plaza!" I have witnessed a lot of very sudden lane changes, cars slamming the brakes, darting to the right, even crossing multiple lanes to get to the cash lanes. I've seen some drivers miss the split between cash lanes & PikePass lanes and come to a complete stop on the shoulder and then back up toward the lane split! Thankfully the shoulders at the Vinita and Stroud toll plazas are pretty wide (more than wide enough to add a 3rd travel lane). But it's still dangerous as hell to be driving through a toll plaza at 75mph with some idiot going backwards on the shoulder.

100% electronic payment would eliminate that crap.

Cash lanes in toll plazas have all sorts of other issues too. There's the staffing costs & headaches. Gotta have working change machines for hours when the booths aren't manned.

I resisted getting a PikePass for the first few years I lived in Oklahoma, but changed my mind when I got stuck in a traffic jam in Newcastle. Some cheapskate fart in a pickup hauling a "Grapes of Wrath" trailer loaded with junk was arguing at the booth over how much he had to pay.
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