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BREAKING NEWS

More drivers choose to pay Border Highway tolls by mail

Updated: Thursday, July 17 2014, 09:08 PM MDT
More drivers choose to pay Border Highway tolls by mail story image

By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- The first toll lanes on the Cesar Chavez Border Highway have collected more than $40,000 so far, but more money is expected to come in.

Although it costs 90 cents to drive the nine-mile stretch of toll lanes from U.S. 54 to Zaragoza Road, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority said most drivers are choosing to pay twice that much with the pay by mail-by-mail option.

Executive Director Raymond Telles said the project is doing well because more drivers are using the toll lanes than expected, no matter how they choose to pay.

"The number of transactions that we're actually seeing out there are a little bit higher than projected. I think we're in good shape," Telles said.

The CRRMA said only about 700 people have created toll tags so far, and drivers have used toll tags in the toll lanes about 40,000 times.

That's compared to about 115,000 pay-by-mail transactions so far.

The total expected revenue from toll tag users is about $16,000, while the total expected revenue from drivers who choose to pay by mail is about $71,000.

One driver said he uses the toll lanes, but said he doesn't plan to use them enough to buy a toll tag.

"I have to get to and from like everybody else. Unfortunately, El Paso is growing very fast and we all have a propensity to run late," Lower Valley resident Arnaldo Gallardo said.

Because there are other costs associated with processing the pay-by-mail transactions, the CRRMA is trying to get more drivers to use toll tags.

They could make toll tags available in convenience stores in the next few weeks.

"You slap it on your windshield, call the number to activate it and sign up and create the account. It's almost an expedited way to get your tag on your vehicle and get it up and running," Telles said.

More drivers choose to pay Border Highway tolls by mail
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