Tolls in the new world

Without ever collecting cash, N.C. jumps into all-electronic tolling

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North Carolina is breaking into the future. The state’s new Turnpike Authority began collecting electronic payments from vehicles on the Triangle Expressway (TriEx) at the beginning of this year. The new six-lane expressway in the vicinity of Research Triangle Park opened for toll-free driving in December.


One regular commuter interviewed by the Raleigh News & Observer said the new route had cut 15 minutes from his trip. He said he was happy to pay the dollar it cost for a round trip the full length of the TriEx.


North Carolina was the last East Coast state without a toll road. Now it plans to complete 18.8 miles of all-electronic toll road by the end of this year.


Video cameras and other sensors snapped pictures of the car’s license plates, detected the car’s axles to calculate the toll rate and sensed whether the car had a transponder. If the car had a transponder, the Turnpike Authority deducted the toll from the appropriate prepaid account. If not, it will send a bill to the car’s registered owner.

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