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HOT lanes set record Tuesday morning

In this file photo, motorists travel down Interstate 85.

In this file photo, motorists travel down Interstate 85.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- For the fourth time in the last week, toll prices on the Interstate 85 high-occupancy toll lanes have been at least $6 due to increased traffic.

Tuesday's morning rate -- $6.05, a record -- came between 6:54 a.m. and 8:29 a.m. But that was only a nickel above the rates on Monday, and last week on Wednesday and Thursday, said Gena L. Evans, executive director of the State Road and Tollway Authority.

Those numbers represent the peak after prices fluctuate based on traffic in an attempt to ensure the lanes are free-flowing.

Record rates for the HOT lanes have steadily increased in the last year, from $4.70 in February to $5 in April.

SRTA officials have said they've issued nearly 200,000 Peach Passes.

The HOT lanes are a 16-mile stretch north and southbound between Old Peachtree and Chamblee-Tucker roads.

The one-year anniversary of the HOT lanes was earlier this month, and the SRTA has said it had collected $3,053,867 from the toll lanes through August.

Comments

Don_Coyote 1 year, 6 months ago

Just for a little balance for information not supplied by Dr. Evans. The "nearly 200,000 Peach Passes" issued include GA400 commuters and an unannounced number issued to the State Patrol, all metro police agencies, Gwinnett County Transit, MARTA, GRTA, etc. In addition the 3 million collected from I-85 HOT lane users doesn't even cover the cost of its administration and maintenance during that same period, much less the 65 million to put up some signs and sensors for the conversion, or, heavens forbid, the actual cost of construction of the lane.

I'm fine with toll roads or bridges when the need arises and when they can be paid for in the traditional manner as in the GA400 extension. This is when the state authority floats bonds for an average 30 year period and then charges a toll sufficient to pay off the bonds. In that scenario the users of the toll facility are paying for its use. The HOT lane concept as applied here and to come on I-75/575 is using state and federal motor fuel tax money paid by all to subsidize those utilizing the lanes. Recently $535 million dollars of state gas tax money was earmarked for the venture in Cobb for a project that will approach a billion dollars total with the federal match. Why? Because they know the vast majority of people using these lanes would not even begin to pay the actual cost of their construction. So I am totally underwhelmed if their toll on 85 has now hit $6 during certain periods.

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R 1 year, 6 months ago

INCREASE that FEE!
Do we hear $10.00? Do we hear $15.00? Oh lets go to an even $20.00 shall we?

This MUST be a success RIGHT NOW, if we're going to sell the development of the north bound flyover at the I-985 merge/entrance when we expand the HOT lanes tolls up I-85 North Bound!!

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ssisk78 1 year, 6 months ago

And it will keep going higher until we refuse to use it. It's time to stand up americia, Stop using the toll lane. Show the government what we together can do. Let's take our country back from these lairs and theives. If we all stick together we can do anything.

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JohnGalt 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, this time Gina Evans steps up to the plate as the SRTA mouthpiece. What's the matter? Malika Reed Wilkins isn't getting it done this time? Gina, please explain to all of us what value you, Malika, the SRTA, and the HOT lanes brings to the table, because for the life of me, I don't get it. I see the HOT lanes is nothing more than an infinite money pit to justify your very existence. GDP, why do you continue to perpetuate their crap? This is a gross misuse and waste of taxpayer dollars that we didn't sign up for, nor do we want. Why don't you report that? Why don't you report that we HATE it and that we don't approve of it and that we want it to simply go away?

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Hangdog 1 year, 6 months ago

I got an "Out of Office" message from my e-mail to Malika Reed Wilkins, PhD. I sent a question to the 4 SRTA board members. Will see if they respond. Out of probably 15 e-mails/phone calls to them, I have gotten one response since this HOT lane theft started.

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Hangdog 1 year, 6 months ago

Ah...the first we have heard from Dr. Evans in quite some time.

GDP and Dr. Gena Evans: In addition to the questions raised above, what are the numbers as far as fines for people who abuse the HOT lane. This morning, between Pleasant Hill and Shallowford, I saw 7 vehicles cross the double line illegally. I see at least 5 every morning and that many in the afternoon. A coworker of mine says she crosses it every day, both ways, because of where she gets on the interstate and the issues with the access points, and has yet to be fined.

How many cars per day use the stolen HOT lanes with no tolls due to: - Having 3 or more people in the car - Had a tag given to them (government employees)

There was an article a few months ago that about 20% of the users were being charged no tolls but there was no breakdown. With the $65 million dollars spent on the project, why can't we get the real breakdown of the users of these stolen lanes?

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 6 months ago

WEEEEEE!!! gubment sucking more $$$ out of the local economy!

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be0wulf 1 year, 6 months ago

Does the price actually matter to people? It does not seem to affect it from what I can tell. If you're already willing to pay $5 to ride it, what is another dollar? Oooh that's too much I can't afford my $1 coffee at McDonald's then? Nah, make it bigger, much bigger. As someone who properly used the original HOV lanes for a carpool, and still does now for a free fare, I'd love nothing better than to see those lanes go back to what they were originally inserted for. If some hotshot lawyer wants to pay $100 to ride the lane too, why not, but make the fees ridiculous and try to actually convince people to carpool...will be only way traffic congestion will ever lighten.

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Gwinnettsince1991 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, these are the people who run this mess....(from a story in another Atlanta news organization)

Georgia tolls manager pleads guilty to forgery

By Staff Staff

A former accounting manager for the State Road and Tollway Authority pleaded guilty to six counts of forgery in Cobb Superior Court Tuesday.

Dawn Lynette Carter was sentenced to five years probation and will pay a $1,000 fine and $14,470 in restitution, according to a press release from the office of Georgia Attorney General Samuel S. Olens.

Judge James Bodiford sentenced her under the First Offender’s Act.

A routine audit revealed that shortly before Carter left the SRTA, she created six checks in the check processing system absent the usual approval process. Four checks were made payable to two different foundations for which she was the CEO, and two checks were made payable to Walden University on her behalf.

Carter was arrested April 26, 2010, and posted bond within four hours. She admitted the theft upon being interviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

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Hangdog 1 year, 6 months ago

I didn't realized this conviction was just handed down. Glad to see we have two PhDs (Gena Evans and Malika Reed Wilkins) running such a tight ship. Does anyone know how many employees SRTA has? Are the all office workers?

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R 1 year, 6 months ago

Well thank goodness she doesn’t serve in the state senate.

Her restitution then would probably have required being put back in charge of Accounts Payable with audit free payment creation privileges…

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