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Tolls now charged in I-85 express lanes

New system launched at midnight

NORCROSS — Overnight, Gwinnett’s express lanes became toll lanes, bringing to metro Atlanta a managed lane system that some believe will change transportation for the region.

“Relief on (Interstate) 85 begins today,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Friday during a press conference launching the new system, which covers 16 miles from Old Peachtree Road to Chamblee-Tucker Road. “Everyone is going to know we are serious about solving traffic problems.”

Over the past year, crews have worked to add technology, cameras and cables to convert the carpool lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes. Carpoolers, if they have at least three people in the car, can still travel in the lane for free, but now the lane is open to single-occupant cars, which make up 90 percent of the traffic, if drivers are willing to pay the price.

Officials hope to create a reliable trip time, increasing the toll from 10 cents a mile to up to 90 cents a mile when traffic gets heavier. Gena Evans of the State Road and Tollway Authority said it could take months of data to know if it works.

“This provides a transportation advantage to people in that corridor who are willing to pay for that advantage,” she said.

As of Friday morning, nearly 73,000 transponders have been issued for drivers interested in using the lanes. The Peach Pass call center will be open through the weekend to respond to questions. For information, call 855-PCH-PASS or go to www.peachpass.com.

While fines have been established for people who cross the double white lines and who drive in the lane without a Peach Pass, Evans said SRTA would have a “grace period” to allow drivers to get used to the new system. The length of the grace period is unknown.

Comments

vsaputo 2 years, 6 months ago

A bad idea whose time has come. There is no advantage in this, except the millions received by vendors to the toll authority. “Relief on (Interstate) 85 begins today,” [said] Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. This passes for validation? Someone who never drives I-85? Here's my contribution to this farce: a NO vote on the TSPLOST next year. Not because I'm against regional control, but because I'm against the lack of coherent planning. I'm no Tea Party zombie...I simply know a bad plan when I see it.

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Mack711 2 years, 6 months ago

This is one of the worst plans that the Ga. DOT has ever come up with. They told us that when GA.400 was paid for that tolls would disappear. Well that road has been paid for and they still collect tolls.Back to I-85. Why should tha Mayour of Atlanta be involved? None of thiis toll is in the city,yet. We should not have to pay to use any road that was built with our tax dollars. What they are saying is that if you have the money you can move ahead of the line. Many times the HOV lanes moved slower than the regular lanes. Just another form of tax.

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wildwolf 2 years, 6 months ago

I for one will not get on the toll-road. The road I help paid for one time and they just want to make more money off of us. NO WAY.

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jack 2 years, 6 months ago

Gena Evans of the State Road and Tollway Authority said it could take months of data to know if it works.

And if it doesn't work, we are going to extend it to all of the existing HOV lanes anyway. Afterall, there's money to be made and poitical favors to be paid.

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R 2 years, 6 months ago

I see I wasn't the only gentlereader from Gwinnett that felt the target on my wallet from Mayor Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed . I'm not convinced that he is talking as much about traffic relief as REVENUE relief.
Relief on (Interstate) 85 begins today, “Everyone is going to know we are serious about solving traffic problems” Really? You weren’t before? But I guess if they can make one lane a fee based item what stops them there? Why not 2 or 3 more in each direction? WARNING! Will Robinson, WARNING!

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Suwaneesince1991 2 years, 6 months ago

A really bad idea. Growing up in the cities with Tolls for cars I always found it wonderful that we didn't have that here, that all our politicians weren't spend-a-holics who kept sticking it to the people. Eventually, people and businesses won't want to be here. They will move to Charlotte or Birmingham or whatever southern city that treats them the way Atlanta and its surrounding community, USED to.

"Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what i see?"- John Adams

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hpytravlr 2 years, 6 months ago

The GaDOT and the Mayor of Atlanta can go stick it. If Charlotte Nash is quiet on this than she can pack her bags.

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unlce_harvey 2 years, 6 months ago

Providing roads is one of the few legitimate government functions. When you are stuck in traffic because there are not enough lanes, the government has failed at its job. When you are made to pay a toll to use a road that you are already being taxed for, someone should be fired. And another thing... Why is it fair for someone who lives in Gwinnett be tolled to drive, when someone who lives in a another county gets to ride free. I hope this thing flops and the people who dreamed up this stupid mess are unemployed this time next year.

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hpytravlr 2 years, 6 months ago

This is a state tax that only people from Gwinnett have to pay. That is not fair.

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Mack711 2 years, 6 months ago

Have you ever met a fair politician? If so they lied to you. They want your money.

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