Drivers Call for Dallas North Tollway Boycott

Some North Texans are steering clear of the tollway after a rate hike

By Ellen Goldbereg
|  Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009  |  Updated 12:12 PM CDT
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Drivers Call for a Dallas North Tollway Boycott

NBCDFW.com

Some drivers are steering clear of the Dallas North Tollway as they refuse to pay higher tolls.

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Drivers Call for a Dallas North Tollway Boycott

Some North Texas drivers are protesting the recent rate hikes along the Dallas North Tollway.
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Some North Texas drivers are protesting the recent rate hikes along the Dallas North Tollway.

They are circulating an e-mail, asking drivers to avoid the Dallas North Tollway for one week starting Labor Day.

Driving the full length of the Tollway from US 380 in Denton County to Interstate 35 in Dallas now costs cash customers nearly $7 -- up more than $2 from a month ago.

“I think it's ridiculous,” said driver John Hobbs. “I really do.”
 
Rising toll costs have drivers like Hobbs avoiding the Dallas North Tollway altogether.

“I now have to go to Northwest Highway and go around,” Hobbs said about getting to his job in Downtown Dallas.

Hobbs is one of a growing number of North Texans using side roads ever since the NTTA raised rates by an average of 32 percent.
 
“Nobody likes to spend money, especially in a shifting economy,” said Kenny Jakoba, proprietor of Sal’s Pizza.

The restaurant has two locations, one in Dallas and in Plano, and both are off of the Dallas North Tollway.

“When you are paying $6 round trip on the Tollway, from here to Legacy where the other Sal’s pizza is, you do that 20 times a month and it adds up,” Jakoba said. “It’s not just a toll anymore, it's a monthly bill.”
 
As of this September, Tolltag users pay an average of 14 and a half cents a mile, as opposed to the old 11 cents.

“My plans will not be changed,” driver Karen Haley said. “Unfortunately l'll have to suck it up.”

The owners of Sal's Pizza are banking on other customers sharing her sentiment.

“The Tollway is a luxury, people are going to pay for a luxury -- the convenience of saving time,” Jakoba said.
 
The NTTA defends the rate hike, calling it “necessary to maintain a financially viable system.”

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