Highway Toll System

What are Tolls and Toll Management systems? What is a Highway Toll system? What are Toll Booths for? Does every vehicle pay the same toll? Which Organization manages US Toll Booths? Why do you pay Toll Tax after Road Tax?
highway toll system

Do you know Italy was the first European country to charge the freeway tolls on a section near Milan in 1924? After that, the toll booths became popular worldwide but charging a certain sum of money from the passengers and vehicles using highways has been in practice for decades now. The only difference is that today it is known as the highway toll system. But do you know what are toll booths for and how do toll booths work? Which system is followed by the US toll booths? 

1. What are Tolls?

The toll is a sum of money charged as a fee by the vehicle entering another city using the highway, interstate expressways, tunnels, bridges, and turnpikes. This amount can be taken from the driver manually or deducted from the account registered. The amount collected as a toll is also known as the National Highway Fee or the NH Fee, whereas the roads used for toll tax are known as toll roads, toll bridges, or tollways. (See Road Construction Process)

2. What is a Toll Management System?

Cars at Toll booth on road in Slovenia: highway toll system 5

A system for the collection of revenue from the users of the road is known as the toll management system. The toll charged depends on the type of vehicle, miles traveled, and weight of the vehicle. The amount collected is used to cover the costs of construction of new roads, repairs, and maintenance of prevailing roads. (See 5 Types of Road Construction)

3. What is a Highway Toll System?

The toll system installed on the entrance and exit of highways is termed the highway toll system. If you are using the highway or expressway, you will have to pay the required amount based on the miles you will be using on that highway. Every vehicle entering and exiting the highway has to pay the toll either manually or electrically. (See 8 Facts about Cracks in Sidewalk)

4. What are Toll Booths for?

It is a booth or counter on the toll road where you have to stop your vehicle to pay the toll before moving any further. A row of several toll booths is known as a toll plaza. These toll booths or toll plaza booths are located on State highways and National Highways. These toll tax booths charge toll only from four-wheelers and charge transportation vehicles both domestic and commercial. (See What Causes Potholes?)

5. How do Toll Booths work?

highway toll system 2
Photo by Red John on Unsplash

If the toll booths are manual or automatic, they will keep the passage close with a barrier. The vehicles have to stop there, and after the collection of necessary information by the collector or machine present there, the toll will be charged. After the person has paid the amount and collected the ticket, the barrier lifts and the vehicle can enter. However, in the case of electronic toll booths, the encoded tag is scanned and read by the system as the vehicle passes the highway toll system booth. The amount is not collected in cash as it is directly deducted from the account. (See How do Toll Roads Work?)

6. Does every Vehicle pay the same Toll Price?

No, the toll price is not the same for every vehicle. The toll tax fee is revised per year by the National Highway Authority. Commercial and domestic vehicles are charged differently. Take a look at the parameters according to which the tolls are charged.

  • The weight of the vehicle
  • The size of the vehicle
  • The weight of the load that the vehicle is carrying along with the weight of the vehicle. (See What does k stand for in Money?)

These parameters are selected on the basis of the amount of damage that will be done to the roads by these vehicles. Let’s look at an example: trucks are heavier than other small vehicles. They carry loads that are more than any passenger vehicle. The damage done by them to the road is more in comparison to other vehicles. Therefore, the toll fee charged on trucks and other large transportation vehicles is more than other vehicles. 

7. Which Organization manages US toll booths?

After the introduction of the Interstate Highway System in 1956, the collection of tolls became easier. There are numerous toll roads in the United States, and as per the latest records collected, there was 8,000 km (5,000 miles) of toll roads in the country. Today, all highway toll systems and other tolled facilities in the United States use an electronic toll system. However, in Texas, the Toll Operations Division takes care of developing, operating, and maintaining their toll roads. Must read how much does a Million Dollars weigh in 20 Dollar Bills?

8. What is the Interstate Highway System?

Originally known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, it is a network of controlled-access highway systems comprising the National Highway System in the United States. It is 78,465 Km (48,756 miles) long. 

9. Which System operates which Toll Booth in the US?

A manual toll system and a person sitting as toll collector: highway toll system 1
Photo by Tbel Abuseridze on Unsplash

Various toll roads in different states are managed by different toll collecting systems. Here is the list of the collection system working in major states of the United States.

  • Most toll bridges, tunnels, and roads on the eastern side, south Virginia, North Marine, and west California use the E-Z Pass system for toll collection.
  • California uses the FasTrak toll collection system
  • Florida uses SunPass
  • Georgia uses Cruise Card and Peach Pass
  • Kansas uses K-Tag
  • Louisiana uses GeauxPass
  • Oklahoma uses Pikepass
  • Texas uses TxTag whereas within Texas, EZ Tag is used in Houston and TollTax is used in Dallas. (See How much is 6 Million Pennies?)

10. Why should you pay Toll Tax after paying Road Tax?

Road tax is the periodic amount that you pay to the Government for using the roads for driving your vehicle. Toll tax is the amount that is charged when you use a toll road. Though the nature of both the taxes is different, the purpose of both taxes is the same, which is to sustain the maintenance and construction expenses.

Hopefully, now you have understood what are toll booths for and how do toll booths work. Also, in this article, you got to know all about the highway toll system and the US toll booths. (See How much does a Modular Home Cost?)

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