by J.D. Miles | CBS 11
BEDFORD, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s become the most expensive road to drive on in North Texas.
It’s costing as much as $20 to access the TEXpress lanes on 121 between Fort Worth and DFW Airport.
The toll rates through the Mid Cities are high enough that some drivers tell us they would rather sit in traffic.
It’s right there in big bright lights on a digital sign overlooking vehicles that pass underneath.
Still, Darrell Key couldn’t believe his eyes when he noticed it while traveling with his wife today from Grand Prairie to the Mid Cities.
“I said it’s probably a glitch when we came across another one we said there it is again,” said Grand Prairie resident Darrell Key.
He’s referring to the $20 toll rate for single occupant vehicles to use the TEXpress lanes through Hurst, Euless, Bedford during rush hours.
The lanes were created seven years ago to offer a faster way to avoid heavy traffic on 121 between Irving and Fort Worth.
But some drivers are going another route due to the higher price.
“To me it’s not worth it really I mean the traffic is still snarled. You’re having to pay for something that’s not usable really,” said Bedford resident. Pablo Castillo.
The highway management company which operates the lanes through an agreement with local governments says don’t blame them.
They say they are contractually obligated to raise the tolls to keep traffic moving at 50 miles per hour.
That means setting price points that make the express lanes a true luxury.
“Unlike other toll roads with fixed toll rates, prices on the TEXpress Lanes fluctuate based on real-time traffic conditions and demand. This helps prevent congestion and allows traffic to flow freely at a minimum of 50 mph along the corridor,” LBJ Express/North Tarrant Express said in a statement.
The TEXpress lane managers say once traffic volume goes down so do the prices and people who don’t like it should complain to their elected officials.
So rush hour through this part of DFW will continue to be an expensive trip except for those who choose another route.
If you notice on the signs the tolls are even higher than $20 for people with no toll tag.
CBS 11 was told the fares on the toll lanes are re-calculated every 5 minutes, 24 hours a day.