State News

Toll road transponder sales surpass 1,000

Posted October 20, 2011 4:58 p.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2011 7:05 p.m. EDT

— 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.