Despite the obvious contradiction to the law of supply and demand, the North Texas Tollway Authority Board of Directorswill meet this week to discuss a proposed toll rate increase, in spite of slumping traffic numbers that have fallen four percent.
Thursday's meeting will allow the board to evaluate whether or not to implement a new distance-based tolling structure for the roadways -- effectively raising tolls on North Texas roadways.
The increase is necessary to recover revenue not received due to fewer cars using the toll roads -- a trend that has made NTTA bond holders nervous.
If the plan is approved, drivers would be paying an additional 3.5 cents more per mile, or 32 percent more than they currently pay, on the Dallas North Tollway and the President George Bush Turnpike. The toll on the Sam Rayburn Tollway would increase from 13.9 cents per mile to 14.5 cents per mile.
Additionally, the rates would increase by 2.75 percent compounded annually, up to 18 cents a mile in 2017. In a news release, the NTTA said they plan to continue the annual increases even if traffic continues to decline.
NTTA said the increase would cost drivers still using the toll roads about an additional $10 per month.