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Tolls to begin soon on HOV lane along I-85

— LAWRENCEVILLE -- Peach Passes will soon be in service, with officials projecting a start date for tolls along Interstate 85.

While some final steps to the construction of the high-occupancy toll lanes still must be completed, the State Road and Tollway Authority's spokeswoman Malika Wilkins said operations will begin either Saturday, Sept. 24 or Saturday, Oct. 1.

Crews must complete some signage and striping along the 16-mile corridor between Chamblee-Tucker Road and Old Peachtree Road. Wilkins said some testing of the technology also needs to be complete before the final start date is set.

"All of this is contingent on weather," she said. "We'll confirm a date as we get more testing in."

In the meantime, SRTA is continuing its marketing of the Peach Pass, the transponder express lane drivers must have, even if they plan to carpool and use the lanes for free.

Since registration opened June 27, nearly 8,600 accounts have been set up. A Peach Pass costs $20, which will be applied to the use of the managed lanes, where tolls will change based on the traffic in the corridor.

For more information or to register, go to www.peachpass.com or call 1-855-PCH-PASS (1-855-724-7277).

Comments

kevin 2 years, 12 months ago

Do people realize that this HOT agency is causing people to break the law? If you are traveling on I-85 and decide to use the HOT lanes, you must use your cell phone 15 mins. before you actually go into the HOT lane? By the time it may take to do all that, you might as well stay on the interstate. HAve the police and politicians who approved this wasted project gone mad?

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jackgm 2 years, 12 months ago

Kevin, I believe the 15-minute call-in option is if you want to change the classification of your car from say a 3-person carpool type to a single driver just going downtown during the weekend. But the whole idea of the toll lane is insane. Later, I can see people jumping in and out of the lane when they have memorized where the monitors are placed. A just wait until someone gets charged $5 or $6 because traffic was very heavy.

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Rocket1300 2 years, 12 months ago

They didn't mention the fact that Motorcycles can get a free transponder and travel in the HOT lanes like they've been able to do before! Great stuff! Wish someone at the paper would follow up on this.

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Captainbob 2 years, 12 months ago

First, they said it would be 90 cents a mile in very heavy traffic. That is $9 each way if you go 10 miles. Secondly, people will duck in an out of the HOT lanes, and use it for a passing lane, just as they do now. I see cars everyday in the HOV lane with one person in it. Its's a dumb idea, and I bet some politician(s) made a fortune on getting this going, in kick backs from the people that were hired to build it.

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crobin7028 2 years, 12 months ago

Wow 8600 people want this. I wonder if that is going to have any affect on the traffic flow. My guess is it won't and we wil loose big money on this project.

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plantlady 2 years, 12 months ago

The purpose of the toll lanes is to guarantee buses can travel at a minimum speed of 45 mph during peak travel times. Gwinnett county purchased new buses in 2008 after gas prices went to $4 a gallon. Ridership on our local buses is down and fees to ride the buses do not cover the operating costs. Now, our county has vitually given buses their own lane on a highway that was already paid for by tax payers. The toll fees are intended to deter cars from entering the lane during peak times. If you, for example, lived in Suwanee and commuted to Emory University during peak travel, the roundtrip cost would be about $25, or $125 week, or $500 per month. Not cheap. The bus factor was not covered by the GDP, but it was disclosed at the toll lane meetings prior to construction. Also, the tolls collected are not expected to cover the cost of operations to the HOT lanes.I believe the federal grant money was $108 million for this project and that a loan was taken out by the county for the remainder of the cost. It is hoped that the tolls fees may pay for the loan in 7 to 8 years. I think this project will worsen traffic and ultimately cost us money.

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addamsfamily 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry but the HOV/TOLL lane has been a joke ever since our fine Gwinnett County Chairman Wayne Hill shoved it down our throats like he TRIED to with the airport expansion. He's still connected to this deal I can assure you and he's grinning all the way to the bank.

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