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Deal Lowers Toll Lane Rate

Governor also seeking change to three-passenger requirement for fee waiver.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that he is lowering the I-85 toll lane rates effective immediately.

“Looking at what we’ve learned from our first four work days with the HOT lanes, I’ve asked SRTA to improve utilization of the express lanes,” Deal said in a released statement. “In the short term, the toll rate will lower -- starting with Thursday afternoon’s commute -- but the effective rate will continue to change to regulate speed and volume.”

Deal added that the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) and the Georgia Department of Transportation are working together to improve the access and exit points on I-85 southbound.

“Lastly, I-85 has long required two passengers for the express lanes. Federal regulations in effect with the HOT lanes increased the requirement to three passengers. I will pursue a federal waiver to move the requirement back to two,” Deal said. “All of these actions are intended to increase the volume in the express lanes while maintaining its steady pace, relieve congestion in the all-access lanes, and encourage carpooling and use of the Peach Pass.”

Deal said he will continue to monitor the situation.

According to the press release, SRTA is issuing 1,700 Peach Passes each day and has issued 75,000 passes to date. The state’s goal is to have 175,000 Peach Passes in use.

Mary K. October 06, 2011 at 10:08 PM
YAY for Nathan Deal!! While I'm sure he is willing to make these changes so quickly partially because it was not his project to begin with (it was Perdue's), either way, the I-85 commuters are the winners. It is such an offensive concept that they use tax payer money to only worry about improving traffic for those who can/are willing to pay to do so. It should be renamed the "CEO Lane".
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 07, 2011 at 03:24 AM
We'll see ... There seems to be some debate as to whether the FEDS actually required the 3 party change to start with. Should be interesting, since other areas under this program are a lot more flexible. Lastly, what stops BUSES from crossing the double line anywhere along the route? Seems that change would help the surface streets. But the "Rich Ditch" may still need a little more of a clean out done as the days go on.
Gail Young October 07, 2011 at 11:32 AM
Why don't they disclose that the number of peach passes includes the 400 commuters, require to switch to peach? Clearly, mist are not 85 commuters (I drive it every day)
Cynthia Montgomery October 07, 2011 at 01:32 PM
The RICH DITCH is a flop. It is time to bombard the Governor's Office with call of displeasure. Now how would that sound. DIALING 404-656-1776. hello Governor's Deals office , how may we be of service? I am not happy with the I85 RICH DITCH! It is not producing the intended saving of time or keeping car exhaust down due to longer commute times for most citizens. Please look into the director Jannie and if she has a vested interest in the technology of this program. At this time of tightening budgets how can you put i pace a program that will cost around $35 per week or an extra 35 minutes each day for those whom can not afford the RICH DITCH prices. Phone call will change what our drive times will be. Only 100 calls a day can change opinions, won't you make the call for the betterment of our check books?
Alice O'Lenick October 07, 2011 at 07:06 PM
How come no one is complaining that the HOV lane was already paid for with tax dollars? Now we have to pay again via a toll (that changes with time). Just build a dedicated toll road like the northern arc and give drivers the choice FREEway or Toll road. I-85 is a disaster and no politician has the guts to address it.
Cynthia Montgomery October 08, 2011 at 01:03 PM
ALice you hit it right on the head, "NO POLITICIAN HAS THE GUTS." They get elected with our mindset and once they are there awhile they become blind to the wants of the public they serve. In this economy, every politician should say no new taxes until we are all back to work. So simple and yet so hard for them to understand.

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