Catherine Ross, Collin County Reporter
The North Texas Tollway Authority Board voted unanimously to start talking with Oklahoma about customers getting one bill for tolls on both tollway systems.
North Texas and Oklahoma drivers could receive one bill for tolls accrued in both states by 2014.
The North Texas Tollway Authority unanimously voted Wednesday to begin talks with Oklahoma about making their electronic toll systems interoperable.
Such an arrangement would allow the use of Oklahoma toll roads to be billed to North Texas drivers' NTTA account. The same principal would apply in reverse, cutting down the perceived loophole of a free ride for cars with Oklahoma plates that use the NTTA system.
"It certainly would make it more efficient for us to collect from them and allow them to use the tollways," NTTA spokesman Michael Rey said.
Rey said the NTTA bills drivers with Oklahoma plates who use its toll roads, but only when it's worth the cost of hiring a third party to track down the plate.
"If they get to the point where it's financially feasible for us to look up a number or an address in Oklahoma, we'll send them an invoice," he said.
Dallas resident Baba Tunde Ogundipe said he spent three years driving in North Texas with Oklahoma plates before he saw a bill.
"I was like, 'Cool; kind of a free ride,'" he said. "But they finally caught up to me. I got charged, and I had a bill sent back to Oklahoma that I didn't know about."
Ogundipe has since acquired a tolltag.
"We don't see a lot of out-of-state plates, but the ones we do, about 60 percent of those come from Oklahoma," Rey said.
Oklahoma also must vote before both sides could meet and discuss the logistics of an interoperable toll system.