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Author Topic: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX  (Read 12039 times)

FreewayDan

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New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« on: July 06, 2010, 11:31:42 PM »

Construction is set to begin this year on two new flyovers at I-45 and Texas 242 junction in the Woodlands.  These new ramps are to be tolled.  No cash collection is available; only an EZ Tag or TxTag are acceptable forms of payment on the flyover ramps.

http://www.ultimatewoodlands.com/2010/02/work-starts-texas-242-flyovers
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/woodlands/news/4911995.html

Here's a simulated image of a toll flyover from northbound I-45 to westbound Texas 242:
http://www.hcnonline.com/content/articles/2009/02/23/conroe_courier/news/ccort0224.jpg
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Chris

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 07:13:00 AM »

Hmm, I don't like toll facilities where you cannot pay at least with creditcard. If you're traveling only once or a few times from, say, Louisiana, to relatives in the Woodlands, you need to have a EZ Tag or TxTag. It can't be that expensive to add a single toll booth where you can pay with a credit card at an automate for non-tag drivers.

FreewayDan

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 11:32:42 AM »

Hmm, I don't like toll facilities where you cannot pay at least with creditcard. If you're traveling only once or a few times from, say, Louisiana, to relatives in the Woodlands, you need to have a EZ Tag or TxTag. It can't be that expensive to add a single toll booth where you can pay with a credit card at an automate for non-tag drivers.

Now that you've mentioned Louisiana, it would be more convenient for the motorist to go to a cash kiosk to purchase a low use toll tag:

http://www.la1coalition.org/images/LA1_KioskMap_8.5x11_060409_final.pdf

Otherwise, it would be even better if they allow for open road video tolling, like ZipCash on NTTA's tollways, yet a slightly higher charge.  Since these are freeway ramps, I don't think it would be practical to add toll booths where you could pay with a credit or debit card, due to possibles traffic jams that could result.  And don't forget the possibility of expired cards or insufficient funds on a card.
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agentsteel53

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 11:38:35 AM »

heh, two of the user interfaces I have the most ergonomic difficulty with are 1) credit card swipe readers, and 2) electronic toll collection machines.  I tend to need four or five swipes because I just don't have the card at precisely the right angle, and as for the electronic machines, I tend to pull up a few inches too far to the right to be able to reach.

if I had to pull up to a credit card reader on a toll road, I guarantee I'd spend enough time there trying to get the buggered appliance to accept my money that I'd be legally required to change my state of residence.
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Chris

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 11:54:31 AM »

You don't have a chip in your credit card? Magnetic strips are supposedly fraud-friendly.

I France I just stick my credit card in and out a machine, takes like 2 seconds, and I paid.

ZipCash is also a nice invention though (as long as they don't charge extraordinary "administrative charges" for a completely automated procedure). It encourages you to buy a tag, while you also allow people who want to use the toll facility just once or twice to pass without having to go through the hassle of getting a toll tag or whatever the names are.

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 11:56:08 AM »

You don't have a chip in your credit card? Magnetic strips are supposedly fraud-friendly.

no, chip-based readers are extremely rare in the US so the card makers see no need to install them.  Kind of a vicious circle of technological backwardness, as neither half of the equation wants to be the first to upgrade.
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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 12:41:14 PM »

The UK didn't have chip and pin until about 7 years ago (Chip and Pin day, where shops refused to do anything but chip and pin was 14/02/04) . It made going to France and paying for stuff with a card tricky, not having a chip - a lot of places, even in the mid-90s wouldn't take my parent's cards. Even though I got my first debit card (rather than cash machine card) a couple of months after chip and pin day, it felt very weird using the chip and pin machine, rather than signing (even though I'd not signed to verify my card at a purchase before either).

The way they got the retailers to buy the equipment was to make them liable for the card fraud (ie if someone uses a card that isn't there to buy something - it's the retailers fault as well). Basically a big stick approach - I don't think those in the US would be happy with that approach.
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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 12:50:37 PM »

my first debit card (rather than cash machine card)

what is the difference?
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Scott5114

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2010, 02:15:32 AM »

I think the concept of combined debit/ATM cards is a rather new development.
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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2010, 03:21:03 AM »

I've never gotten a bill in the mail for Zipcash.  I guess because I have a Louisiana license plate, and I'm only using the toll roads when I visit my friend in Dallas.  It probably costs them more to process and mail me a bill than my actual toll.
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FreewayDan

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 10:52:52 PM »

There is some construction going on relation to the new toll ramp project in Montgomery County, TX.  Two I-45 ramps (one for northbound I-45 from Research Forest/Tamina and the other for exiting I-45 to SH 242) were realigned to make room for the new toll ramps.  Here are some photos:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/22306412@N07/5615214342/in/photostream

The "free exit" in the sign has created some buzz; some people think that I-45 would be converted to a tollway: http://www.khou.com/video/featured-videos/-I-45-Free-Exit-sign-explained--118481904.html
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mightyace

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2011, 02:09:36 AM »

So, let me get this straight.  It is just these new flyover ramps that will be tolled?

If so, tolling just exit ramps is a new one on me.
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FreewayDan

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2011, 10:02:30 AM »

So, let me get this straight.  It is just these new flyover ramps that will be tolled?

If so, tolling just exit ramps is a new one on me.

Only the flyovers will charge a toll for useage; the exit ramps to the frontage roads will remain free.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2011, 02:20:28 PM »

Does those ramps could be planned for a more future long-range bigger project: TX-99?
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FreewayDan

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2011, 05:01:54 PM »

Does those ramps could be planned for a more future long-range bigger project: TX-99?

I don't know.  BTW, speaking of TX-99, new flyover ramps are under construction at the I-10 interchange.  However, TxDOT is only having two ramps constructed: one from eastbound I-10 to southbound SH 99, the other from northbound SH 99 to eastbound I-10.  Wonder if they'll try to build the other two ramps (NB 99 to WB I-10 & WB I-10 to SB 99) using tolls (its just a thought)

http://bumpertobumperblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/i-1099-construction-details/
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mightyace

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2011, 11:45:18 PM »

So, let me get this straight.  It is just these new flyover ramps that will be tolled?

If so, tolling just exit ramps is a new one on me.

Only the flyovers will charge a toll for useage; the exit ramps to the frontage roads will remain free.

That's what I thought I read.  Still, I hadn't heard of tolling just ramps, albeit only "express," on otherwise free highways.
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Sykotyk

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Re: New toll road project in Montgomery County, TX
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2011, 10:35:24 PM »

One thing I don't get is, why not setup a pay-online feature. Just drive the road, and you have a week to go online (or visit some supermarket that does billpay) and enter your license plate number, see how much you owe, and pay it. Rather than sending a bill and tacking on a huge surcharge (this plan is similar to what Illinois does with the 7 days to pay)
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