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Mobility Authority Board of Directors Approves Qualified Veteran Toll Discount Program

By Terry Bradford Council 9930

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

(Austin, Texas) — The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) Board of Directors authorized a Qualified Veterans Toll Discount Program by unanimous vote at the July 25th Board of Directors Meeting. Under the program, which goes into effect November 1, 2018, participating qualified veterans will be able to drive toll-free on 183A Toll, 290 Toll, the 71 Toll Lane, and the future 183 South and SH 45SW Toll Roads.

“While the Mobility Authority relies on toll revenue rather than taxing authority to deliver mobility solutions for Central Texas, we are pleased to be able to offer this program to veterans who have served our country,” said Executive Director, Mike Heiligenstein of the Mobility Authority Board of Directors.”

Under Texas law, toll authorities are allowed to offer discounted or waived tolls for certain classes of veterans—disabled veterans and Legion of Valor or Medal of Honor recipients. Texas House Bill 3139 was passed September 1, 2009, at the request of veterans who said they were having difficulty affording travel to VA medical facilities. With upwards of 347,000 qualified veterans in the state of Texas, this program is projected to have a fiscal impact to the Mobility Authority of $1 million per year in 2018, increasing to $2.5 million per year by 2025. The state legislature has not approved any funding to defray the cost of such a program.

Under the Mobility Authority veterans toll discount program, qualified veterans that wish to participate will be required to register with the agency using the online portal onMobilityAuthority.com. The portal will be available prior to the launch of the program which is currently scheduled for November 1, 2018. Participation is limited to one license plate per household, and that vehicle must be associated with a qualified license plate and electronic toll tag account (TxTag, EZ TAG, TollTag, K-Tag, or BancPass). Acceptance into the program requires that all outstanding tolls incurred prior to November 1st are paid in full. Veterans should take note that toll charges incurred on the MoPac Express Lane will not be waived under this program, as the variable toll pricing model is key to congestion management, and operation of the lane would otherwise break down.

About the Mobility Authority

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a local, independent government agency created in 2002 to improve the regional transportation system in Travis and Williamson Counties. The Mobility Authority implements innovative and sustainable transportation options to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in Central Texas. The Mobility Authority operates 183A Toll in Williamson County, 290 Toll in east Austin, the 71 Toll Lane in east Austin, and the MoPac Express Lane in Central Austin. The agency is also finishing construction of the eight-mile 183 South Project in east Austin, and constructing the four-mile SH 45SW toll road between FM 1626 and MoPac in southern Travis and northern Hays counties. For more information about the Mobility Authority, visit www.MobilityAuthority.com.

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