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Tolls

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New Haven...
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259 posts
41 reviews
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Tolls

I'll be sliding down to Austin for the Grand Prix in a couple of months and had a question in regards to road tolls.

I'm flying in and out College Station and driving to Austin were I'll be staying. Per Google Maps, I see that there are tolls on this route (though there are a couple options to avoid tolls).

Since I'll be in a rental car, I wanted to know are these tolls EZ Pass only or are they manned booths and/or automated booths that take exact change. If the ladder, how much are these tolls and do they take change only?

Thanks in advance.

Houston, TX
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4,164 posts
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1. Re: Tolls

It's really quite easy to drive between College Station and Austin without using any toll roads at all. As far as your specific question about the booths, hopefully someone else who uses the toll road will come along and answer for you. I've never used a toll road driving between those two places, so can't help you there.

Pearland, Texas
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2,217 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Tolls

Set Google maps to avoid toll roads and update your search.

It will probably instruct you to drive past Toll 130 and go on to I-35 and head south.

Edited: 23 June 2014, 00:46
Plantation Florida
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485 posts
139 reviews
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3. Re: Tolls

Even though you probably saw it, please read this thread here.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g30196-i229-k75017…

Use the "Avoid Toll Option" when using Google Maps on your iPhone.

There are 7 different tolling agencies in Texas, so figuring out what toll roads you could be on, would probably take you hours. The toll agency in Austin is called TexTag and all their tolls are Cashless. They're very proud about this. The toll road starts at the north end of Austin and goes south around the east side.

If you have any plans to visit the center of the city, and you're coming from the north, the GPS will take you from the I-35, to SH45, to 1. This toll road is only a couple miles, but you'll hit a booth with no humans in it, the toll will be $1.06, and it will tell you to drive through. Do not take the SH45 from I-35.

Be sure to always set "Avoid Tolls" each time you use Google Maps. The way to do this when using your phone, is to search for your destination, press the car icon in the lower right to start. A map will be shown and just above this map you'll see the words "Route Options." Press this and another screen will appear with the "Avoid Tolls" option. Choose that, and then press the back arrow in the upper left. The route will be updated to avoid tolls, now press the "Start Navigation" text under the map and go.

djr
Austin, Texas
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775 posts
34 reviews
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4. Re: Tolls

All the tolls in the Austin area are EZPass only, no manned booths.

There are 2 ways to approach Austin from College Station. If you're staying north, your GPS will probably direct you to 290 where there is a short stretch of toll road as you approach the 183/290 intersection. This can be easily avoided by paying attention to signs and setting your GPS to avoid tolls.

If you're staying south, you could go all the way to 71 and not have any issues with tolls.

Where is your hotel? We might be able to give you some options.

Dallas, Texas
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271 posts
2,372 reviews
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5. Re: Tolls

You write that you will using a rental car from College Station to Austin. Be sure and contact your rental car company to see what their policy is with respect to toll roads you may use. Soem rental car companies may bill you additional cost, on top of the regular toll, if you use their car through certain toll points In and around Austin you will find traffic conditions some of the worst in the entire nation. Paying a little for toll roads , depending upon your route, may alleviate some frustration you are bound to get and the Grand Prix is right on one of the toll roads.

New Haven...
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259 posts
41 reviews
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6. Re: Tolls

Thanks to everybody who has replied to this thread so far. In regards to where I'm staying, that's still up in the air. All that has been taken care of as of now is my flight, car rental and Grand Prix tickets. Currently, I'm waiting to hear back about an apartment I'm interested in renting which is located on Burton Drive for whatever that's worth.

My plans tenatively are as followed assuming I rent the place on Burton Drive

1. Pick up car from CLL and go directly to the apartment. That evening, head down to 6th street via car before calling it night. (Friday)

2. Drive to San Antonio Saturday Morning and spend the day out there before coming back Saturday Evening. I understand this is going to set up another line of questioning in regards to tolls since I'll be leaving the Austin Area. (Saturday)

3. Go to the Grand Prix. Undecided as of now if we should drive, or attempt to catch a shuttle via downtown Austin. (Sunday)

4. Drive from the apartment back to CLL (Monday)

I understand to use Google maps via my phone in an effort to avoid tolls. The problem is everynow and again this method isn't 100% as I just dealt route flaws on a drive from Conneticut to Toronto. Hence, me posing the question to begin with.

djr
Austin, Texas
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775 posts
34 reviews
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7. Re: Tolls

If you do stay on Burton Drive (south Austin), you will be able to drive from College Station on 21 until you get to 71 in Bastrop, then head towards Austin. There are NO tolls along this route.

Burton Drive to San Antonio will be IH35, no tolls to worry about.

Shuttles may be the best bet for getting to COTA. But from Burton Drive to the track (parking), you shouldn't run into tolls unless you somehow get on 130.

Heading back to College Station, just reverse the way from 71 to 21.

You should easily be able to avoid tolls.

New Haven...
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259 posts
41 reviews
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8. Re: Tolls

Awesome. Thanks Djr

Edited: 23 June 2014, 18:17
Pearland, Texas
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2,217 posts
11 reviews
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9. Re: Tolls

Just want to mention that the toll road from San Antonio to Austin has a posted speed limit of 85 mph in case you have an itch to drive fast legally.

Plantation Florida
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485 posts
139 reviews
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10. Re: Tolls

I just drove through the NY area using Google Maps going to Niagara Falls and it worked correctly. I didn't pay any tolls and reached all destinations using the scenic routes. The thing about the roads in Austin, is the signs will say Toll under the highway number. But there won't be any "Last Exit Before Toll" warning. So you'll have to look up at the signs, and study the numbers carefully looking for the word toll. This can be hard to do when playing leap front with 18 wheeler trucks, and the exits come up quickly while looking at the GPS.

But I would be fairly confident using Google Maps. Just remember to always set the Avoid Tolls option. My problem was I forgot to set it one time, and didn't look up at the sign and see the word Toll under the number (the fine print). By the time I was on the new road, it was too late to turn around.

You'll know if you're on a toll road because traffic will suddenly be light, and you'll think to yourself, "Gee, this is a nice road." If you think that, then it's probably a toll road, and you'll need to pull over, then turn around if possible or take an exit before the cashless booth. They have booths, but there are no humans in them. Instead, a sign will tell you to drive through.

Edited: 27 June 2014, 15:07