ATLANTA—(WAOK) Drivers have been using the HOT lanes for a year and the grade may not be as high as officials hoped.
According to the AJC, the lane’s toll revenues fall short of even the state’s lowest-case predictions, which seems to be no surprise since so many Atlanta drivers opposed the HOT lanes during its creation.
Many drivers say that the HOT lanes – high occupancy toll – makes commuting more complicated as oppose to making traffic better, which persuades drivers to change routes. Drivers also say that the toll rates are higher than what they want to pay.
Despite drivers’ concerns on high toll prices, many are starting to sign up for the PeachPass, which is an upfront payment allowing motorists to drive through without paying tolls. Drivers say they don’t like pay in advance, but since they do, they would rather pass through traffic with a PeachPass, instead of waiting in traffic.
Officials say that PeachPass sales are rising, and if they continue to rise, it may cover the costs of operating the HOT lanes, which the tolls have failed to do.
State Road and Tollway Authority officials say they are not upset with the recent toll revenues, since the amount of actual and expected revenue were not that far apart from each other.
“As the governor has said repeatedly, he believes that optional tolling lanes are a viable and necessary option for expanding capacity in our most heavily traveled corridors,” said Governor Deal’s spokesman, Brian Robinson.
Robinson also stated that Deal “moved aggressively” to lower toll costs and give a grace period to toll violators after many complaints from commuters a year ago.
Submitted by: Brent Yancy, Student Writer