Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Regional Mobility Authority resorts to fundraising gimmick to promote TxDOT's RFID Toll Tags

CTRMA launches TxTag fundraiser program


by Ashley Richards
Hill Country News
Copyright 2006

With the opening of the 183A toll road approaching, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is launching a TxTag fundraising opportunity for local community organizations.

“The charity or organization will be giving out information and talking to their neighbors, friends, family or coworkers,” said Steve Pustelnyk, CTRMA communications director.

Pustelnyk said organizations located within the Cedar Park, Leander and Liberty Hill zip codes are eligible to apply for the program. Participating organizations will be issued a promotional code that will allow CTRMA to track the number of customers a group signs up for TxTag.

Organizations will receive $2 for each TxTag registered under their promotional code between Jan. 1 and June 30. TxTags will not be distributed by the organizations; rather they will offer information about the TxTag program and provide customers with the promotional code to use when registering the tag online or over the phone.

TxTags typically cost $9.65 but during this promotional period the tags will be free to all customers. In order to register a tag, customers must make an initial payment of $20 into their account, which will be used to pay tolls.

TxTag is an electronic sticker that must be placed inside the windshield beneath the rearview mirror. When approaching a toll booth, drivers with an active TxTag account can pass through the plaza without stopping or slowing down and the toll is deducted from the account. The tags are valid for use on toll roads throughout Texas and TxTag customers receive a 10 percent discount on the tolls.

The 183A toll road is scheduled to open in March 2007 with reduced toll fees being offered through July 2007. Once the promotional tolls expire, TxTag customers will receive the traditional 10 percent discount.

The first toll plaza northbound drivers will pass is located near the Lakeline Boulevard intersection will be an electronic-only toll. Pustelnyk said because only TxTag payment will be accepted at this location (a $0.45 fee deducted from the account), cash-paying customers must exit and reenter the highway further north.

“That's another reason why we're encouraging folks that live in that area to purchase a TxTag,” Pustelnyk said. “It's a convenience factor to have the TxTag.”

The main toll plaza, located after the Park Street intersection, accepts both TxTag and cash payment ($1.35 for TxTag, $1.50 cash).

On June 30, CTRMA will review the promotional code accounts for each participating organization to determine the the number of TxTags active under the codes in order to distribute checks to the organizations in early July. TxTags must be active on June 30 in order for an organization to receive credit for registering the account.

Charities or organizations that want to get involved in the fundraising opportunity can contact CTRMA at (512) 996-9778.

© 2006 Hill Country News: