State News

Toll road transponder sales surpass 1,000

Posted October 20, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— In just a little over a week, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority has sold more than 1,000 electronic devices to help collect payments on the state's first toll road, officials said Thursday.

The N.C. Quick Pass transponders went on sale at a customer service center in Morrisville and online on Oct. 11 in advance of the 3.4-mile Triangle Parkway – running from N.C. Highway 147 in Durham to N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville -- opening at the end of the year.

Tolls will begin in January 2012.

N.C. Quick Pass is a pre-paid account that is one way of paying for tolls. Drivers can open an account and use the transponder to have a toll payment automatically deducted from their account.

The Turnpike Authority said it had only anticipated selling 450 transponders in the first month, but as of Wednesday, 157 had been sold at the N.C. Quick Pass Customer Service Center and 892 had been purchased on the Quick Pass website.

Tolls will be collected electronically, eliminating the need for toll booths. Drivers can either use the N.C. Quick Pass at about 15 cents per mile or be billed 20 cents per-mile.

Overhead, high-speed cameras will capture the license plate information of drivers without transponders, and the Turnpike Authority will bill them by mail.

The Triangle Parkway is one of three sections of the larger Triangle Expressway, an 18.8-mile roadway extending from N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville to N.C. Highway 55 in Holly Springs.

The Northern Wake Expressway, a 2.8-mile section extending from N.C. 54 to N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park, opened in July 2007.

The third section, the 12.6-mile Western Wake Freeway, is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. It runs from N.C. 55 near RTP to N.C. 55 between Holly Springs and Apex.

Tolling on the Northern Wake Expressway and the Western Wake Freeway will begin once the project is complete.

42 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • quaten Oct 21, 2011

    Odds are nobody in Zebulon or Garner will buy one, plus it's doubtful anyone but the local commuters will benifit from buying a transponder.

    How many possible local commuters do they think exist anyway?

    They need to find 16,000 local commuters willing to buy one each year for the next thirty years to pay for it.

    At roughly $2,000 per year for thirty years, each local commuter will have spent $60,000 dollars before it's paid for.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Oct 21, 2011

    This isn't impressive.

    A million people in Wake County and they sold a 1000 units.

    That's 1 in 1000 people or 1/1000 or .1%.

  • sinewave02 Oct 21, 2011

    I had heard the transponders would be compatible w/the EasyPass used going north. Does anyone know if thats true? I personally was proud NC had no toll roads until now--the flood gates are about to open.

  • corey3rd Oct 21, 2011

    Nice to see that the media around here didn't want to address the utter failure of the toll road in nearby Greenville, SC. What does happen if the tollbooth operation costs over 2/3rds of the revenues tossed in the collection basket? Who gets to hold the bag when NC citizens decide they'd rather not spend $1,300 to ride that road a year.

  • rrjeff Oct 21, 2011

    TRAFFIC CAMERA MASKING PAINT SALES INCREASE IN NORTH CAROLINA!

  • OGE Oct 21, 2011

    I LOVE how the NCDOT will agree to making their own residents pay a toll on the southern 540 extension yet don't want to make I95, which is traveled primarily by people out fo state, a toll road?

  • quaten Oct 20, 2011

    Why not judge it by the first day or hour or minute or second to further your spin.... WooHoo2You

    Good point. They need to sell 1.875 units per hour for every hour of every day for the first year to make the thirty year payoff.

  • fbridges2 Oct 20, 2011

    "I'm hoping these toll roads will be very well marked so I don't accidentally get on one. With no toll booths, will it be easy to tell when you cross the point of no return?" They will be clearly marked with signs - but note that eventually if you are on I-540 and go past the intersection with I-40, you will be approaching the toll portion of the road. You will need to exit in order to avoid receiving a bill for the toll.

  • fbridges2 Oct 20, 2011

    Oops - overran the number of characters allowed. See if I can finish that thought:
    "A shame and disgrace on Governor Perdue and DOT for discriminating against everyone in southern Wake county" - The situation has changed since the northern portion of 540 was constructed - namely, people are driving hybrids and driving less due to gas prices - which means less gas tax revenue which is what is used to build traditional roads. In addition, massive road construction projects in China and India have caused the cost of construction materials to skyrocket over the last 5-10 years. Even if they raised the gas tax exponentially, the revenue will continue to decline as people opt for more fuel-efficient vehicles.

  • fbridges2 Oct 20, 2011

    " It would take an hour just to make it to the toll booth and less than five minutes to cross the bridge." - which is why there won't be any toll booths.

    "Cool, all these people can get off of 55 so I can breeze into work...toll free." EXACTLY! There is always a free alternative - and those who take that route will still benefit because some of the people who are now clogging the roads will be taking the toll road instead.

    "At 1000 transponders, the current tally, it should be paid off in roughly 493 years." That would be true IF they only ever sold 1000 transponders; however, they have sold 1000 within about a week and the ROAD ISN'T EVEN OPEN YET!

    "A shame and disgrace on Governor Perdue and DOT for discriminating against everyone in southern Wake county" - The situation has changed since the northern portion of 540 was constructed - namely, people are driving hybrids and driving less due to gas prices - which means less gas tax revenue which is what is used to build traditional r

More...