Thursday, December 28, 2006

More bad math used in tolling Texas 121

State needs lessons in arithmetic

The state spent 30.8 cents on postage to mail Don Ferguson a bill for 25 cents for driving on a toll road.

Dec. 28, 2006

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Copyright 2006

ARLINGTON -- Don Ferguson is no scofflaw, his wife, Marilyn, says, so he'll pay the 25 cents he owes for driving on Dallas-Fort Worth's first all-electronic toll road.

But he won't pay quietly.

The 72-year-old military retiree was befuddled last week when an invoice for 25 cents arrived from the Texas Department of Transportation, which began charging tolls Dec. 1 on Texas 121 in Denton County.

The charge won't cover the 30.8 cents metered postage the state paid to send him the bill.

"I thought about taping three dimes to the invoice and asking them to send me change," said Ferguson, who drove on the road -- which has no toll booths -- while visiting a son Dec. 2 in Frisco. "But I've decided I'm going to send them a $1 check, so my account will have a credit of 75 cents."

Drivers with no TollTag have their license plates photographed, and a bill is mailed to them. For some reason, the automated system didn't charge Ferguson a customary $1 handling fee to cover postage. Agency officials are trying to figure out why.

"I got a bill for 25 cents, too," department spokesman Mark Ball said, adding that at least four other drivers have complained.

© 2006 Fort Worth Star-Telegram: