Cash Tolls Race Toward Extinction

'Open-road' payment systems catch on nationwide
By Paul Olson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2008 7:00 PM CDT
The joys of toll roads.   ((c) Jason Riedy)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Cash toll booths are going the way of the Model T as "open-road tolling"—which lets drivers pay electronically without having to slow for booths or gates—gains traction, reports USA Today. Supporters say killing the cash-based system cuts down on everything from congestion to pollution to the amount of land required to build toll plazas.

The boom in fuel-efficient vehicles and drop in miles driven countrywide has cut into gas tax revenues, the source of most highway funding. That leaves tolls as the quickest way to finance road projects. "It's costing almost as much money to collect cash as the cash we're collecting," says a spokesman for a Texas highway authority.