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El Paso's first toll lanes open; Info on pricing

By: Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas The Border Highway Express Toll Lanes are officially open, and drivers will get a chance to preview them for free.

The toll lanes have one express lane on each side of a 9-mile stretch from U.S. 54 to Zaragoza Road. Drivers will have the opportunity to use the lanes free of charge until Jan. 10 as part of a promotional testing period, officials said.

If drivers would like to use the toll lanes after the promotional period, they will need to sign up for a TollTag account by going to http://www.epexpress.org/, visiting an ACE Cash Express location or calling 915-351-8655.

With the TollTag, drivers will pay between 40 and 50 cents depending on the time and where they enter the toll. If drivers use the entire 9-mile stretch, the cost will be 90 cents.

Opening a TollTag account is free, but it requires an initial balance of $20 for a Starter TollTag or $40 for a regular TollTag. The TollTags can be linked to a credit or debit card to refill automatically once the tags reach a minimum threshold of $5 for the starter and $10 for the regular, according to the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority.

If drivers choose to get and refill their TollTags at ACE Cash Express, a $3 sign-up fee is applied as well as $2 to replenish a TollTag that isn't linked to a credit or debit card, according to CRRMA.

Drivers without a TollTag will have their license plates recorded by high-speed cameras, and will receive a bill in the mail. The charge ranges from 80 cents to $1 depending on time and entry. A toll bill also includes a $1 processing charge.

According to CRRMA, the rates are effective through the first quarter of 2014. Traffic will be evaluated and rates may be adjusted on a quarterly basis to manage traffic.

Weaving in and out of the toll lanes and crossing the double white line is a traffic violation, and drivers need to enter and exit the lanes at the identified areas, officials said.

 

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