I-Team: Triangle Expressway tolls rising - but so is traffic

CARY (WTVD) -- If drivers want a faster ride, they're going to have to pay for it.

The NCDOT on Tuesday confirmed a scheduled toll increase for the Triangle Expressway will take effect Jan. 1, raising the cost of the full drive for both Quick Pass and non-Quick Pass users.

VIEW: 2018 toll rates

According to a release sent to ABC11, NC Quick Pass customers traveling the 17.4 miles on the Triangle Expressway between N.C. 147 at I-40 and the N.C. 55 Bypass, the cost will increase 12 cents to $3.25.

For bill-by-mail customers, the cost will go up 16 cents to $4.97.

The six-lane highway, first opened in 2011, is among the costliest projects in North Carolina transportation infrastructure history, at a cost of more than $1 billion.

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The tolls, thus, raise the revenue needed to help pay off the bonds sold to pay for the highway and its interchanges.

There are also costs for overall maintenance including road repairs, signs, mowing, and winter weather preparation and response.

The latest toll increase raises the per mile cost to 18.6 cents - eighth highest in the nation.

And while costs are rising, so are the number of drivers and number of toll transactions - from 23 million tolls paid in 2012 to 45 million in 2016.

Data from a 2017 quarterly report also shows a high of 47,720 drivers passing through the NC-540 and NC-147 interchange on an average weekday.

The report also maintains the highway remains in a "ramp up" period, where drivers are still learning about the expressway, its route, its entrances and exits, and its overall accessibility.

For NC Quick Pass information, including payment and purchase options, call (877) 769-7277 or visit the NC Quick Pass website.
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