I-85 toll rates lowered for off-peak hours

ATLANTA -- Minutes after a key vote in Atlanta, Gov. Nathan Deal watched from a web site as a four-mile stretch of Interstate 85 boasted a 4-cent toll.

"This administration gets results quickly," Deal said with a laugh at the almost instantaneous change to the Interstate 85 high occupancy toll lanes, after the State Road and Tollway Authority board approved a toll rate as low as 1 cent a mile, down from a 10-cent minimum.

Thursday's early afternoon vote, he said, allows the lanes now at capacity during rush hour to get more use on nights and weekends.

"It will bring the use of that road back to comparable use in the lanes prior" to the October conversion to tolls, the governor said. "We'll further utilize the pavement that's out there."

During high traffic times, the peak toll has gone up to $4.10 for the 16-mile stretch from Chamblee Tucker Road to Old Peachtree Road, since the toll amount fluctuates based on usage.

During Thursday's meeting, the authority talked about a new mobile phone application for the Peach Pass, now available for free on iTunes, and the addition of live streaming of toll signs to its website.

Later this month, DOT and SRTA crews will place temporary signs on a new weave point near Boggs Road for I-85 south. The new location -- which solves an 8-mile stretch without access -- will allow people, and more importantly, buses, to enter the HOT lanes if they get on I-85 at Sugarloaf Parkway.

Deal said that new access point will solve many of the lingering complaints to the controversial toll lanes.

A critic of the project, which was put into motion before he took office last year, Deal admitted that many still will be against taking the lane, but recent changes make better use of the road.

"Isn't it nice to have choices?" he said of those who refuse to pay the toll.


CD 3 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Deal: it is indeed good to have choices. I'll be thinking that when I vote for whomever or whatever runs against you for re-election.


Mack711 3 years, 6 months ago

In the article it "Deal said with a laugh at the almost instantaneous change to the Interstate 85 high occupancy toll lanes, " We will see Who has the last laugh come election day in Georgia Mr. Deal. Several have said that if the State moves froward with amy more toll roads there will be a lot of vacancies in the Capitol. Lets work to get rid of anyone there that supports these toll lanes come election day.

You folks over in Cobb County better take note of what is going on in Gwinnett. It is coming your way if this is not stopped NOW.


R 3 years, 6 months ago

"Deal said that new access point will solve many of the lingering complaints to the controversial toll lanes."

Mr Governor we respectfully request that you open your ears if you TRULY believe the content of the statement above. This adjustment DOESN'T even begin to address the issue. Dreams are nice, but NOT when repeated 24/7 by government officials.


pjm123 3 years, 6 months ago

I am sorry But I have to disagree with these comments. I am willing to pay the tolls if it cuts my usually 45 minute commute in the morning from 316 to 285 down to 15 minutes. It is true it does cut down on commute times. I was skeptical myself until I tried it. If you live up north no one complains about the turnpike tolls. No one gripes about the tolls on 400 that were supposed to go away and never did. I think that people are upset about it because it is a change and most people don't like change. I-75 would benefit from such lanes. What ever happened to the idea of truck lanes? That would help cut down on traffic. Everyone wants to complain but no one wants to come up with solutions and when someone does everyone is against it.


NewsReader 3 years, 6 months ago

Do tell pjm123, since the transportation machine is well oiled and working so well up there, then why are you losing so many electoral votes up there? HINT: it isn't because people are moving up there. It's because they are leaving in mass. But in light of your view, please, feel free to move back so that we can remove the problem one automobile at a time. The fact is, no matter how many ways we demonstrate our displeasure, all suggestions fall on deaf ears. I may as well be talking to a sign post. At least with a sign post, I get a flashing response. My response is and always has been, take responsibility for yourself, and if traffic is an issue for you, move to within closer proximity to where you need to be. Don't expect the rest of us to subsidize your lifestyle choices to live out here and work in there. It really is that simple.


pjm123 3 years, 6 months ago

Obviously it is working a lot better up there then it is here because it was planned for while here it was not. People are moving away from up there because of outrageous taxes and cost of living. Not transportation. The point of the matter is this is an issue all across the country. Like I said when someone tries something new ignorant people always complain. At least they are trying something. If you can come up with a better plan run for office we'd all like to listen to it.


R 3 years, 6 months ago

"No one gripes about the tolls on 400 that were supposed to go away and never did."

You must not read here or the famed AJC because quite a few have and its a "real deal" breaker for the TSPLOST. Gov. Deal reneged on a campaign promise and it will hurt him in the future.

The fact that those from the north are accustomed to paying tolls is not a direct comparison. They also pay 20 percent sales tax (or consumption tax) another concept that should be left up there. The Atlanta region seems to have some inferiority complex in relation to the NY Tri-State area. The media and leaders both seem to scream "US TOO" repeatedly at every perceived slight from security threats to theater and art. Please lets remember that hundreds of thousands LEFT the NY region and still are. We DON'T need to continue to repeat the follies of that region HERE or those transplants and others will go elsewhere. ( Which I guess is a method to cut traffic)

The continuing acceptance of and the dependence on federal funding (and its mandates) for every project in a time where we are at a deficit of 16 trillion and counting should make one pause. Couldn't GA. have altered the HOV lane operation, maintained the original carpool levels and done so more cost effectively? After all, the use of easipasses and RF truck pass technology has been around for YEARS now. Offering the "pay to play" option to non carpoolers is fine and really overdue, but the project cost in GWINNETT won't pay for itself and we are looking to extend that all over the region? This is a case of "We lose on every car BUT we WONT make it up in volume".

There is such a thing as timing and thoroughness and it appears we keep going back to the methods that got to this point in the first place with an attitude of "If we only double-down, it will work now".


pjm123 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't think we need to repeat the follies of that region. This regions lower taxes and cost of living are what draw people and businesses to the area. But when transportation is as bad as it gets here businesses take a second look. I think there are some viable plans that just seem to get past over and one of the reason is expense. I think that the truck lanes were a good idea. They did the study but it never happened. I'm pretty sure special interest and cost killed that one. Wasn't the federal government a big player in the HOT lane idea? I think whenever someone comes up with a new idea there will always be a naysayer like "newsreader". I think if there was a lane created just for him he would still gripe. You have to be able to find some kind of balance. Hey I'm all for ideas free of cost myself but there is no way that you are going to have 20 lanes on each side of the highway and not incur some sort of cost.


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