Central Texas tolling agency moves forward with 5% toll increases for 2022

The toll increases are higher this year, as a result of inflation increasing the consumer price index over the past year. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
The toll increases are higher this year, as a result of inflation increasing the consumer price index over the past year. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)

The toll increases are higher this year, as a result of inflation increasing the consumer price index over the past year. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
A list of the Mobility Authority's planned toll increases in 2022. (Courtesy Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority)
Since 2016, the highest annual toll increase enacted by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was 2.27% in 2019. However, in 2022 the increase will be more than twice that at 5.39%.

That higher increase is because the Mobility Authority determines toll increases by looking at inflation through the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The metric, which was higher this year than previous years, measures the change in pricing over time for urban consumers, according to the BLS website.

Board members raised questions about what the increase means for mobility affordability in Central Texas during an Oct. 27 meeting. However, Bill Chapman, the chief financial officer of the Mobility Authority, said the increases are unlikely to price drivers out of using the agency’s roads.

“If you would have asked me last year, ‘Would inflation be 5.3%?’ I would have thought, 'Not going to happen,' but you just don't know what the future is,” Chapman said. “Our [Traffic and Revenue] consultant looks at the elasticity of demand on the toll rates, and we're way below where people would start to be diverting off of the toll road because the rates are too high.”

Because toll rates vary, the 5.39% increase will impact toll gates differently. For example, the Park Street main lane on 183A Toll will jump from $1.59 to $1.68, whereas the Loyola Lane ramps on 183 South will go from $0.66 to $0.70, according to Mobility Authority documents.


Increases to the MoPac Express Lanes are the exception to the 5.39% bump, as they increased by $0.05 per gantry, the bridge-like structures that record tolls, annually prior to 2020. Last year’s increase was paused due to COVID-19, so the increase in 2022 will be $0.10, moving the toll per gantry to $0.45.

The board also discussed the possibility of making the $0.10 annual increase to the MoPac Express Lanes permanent to ensure the toll rates are in line with rates on 183 North. That decision will likely not be made until 2022.

“Just to be clear that the recommendation going forward to be 10 cents per year is not on the table as part of the resolution before the board today,” Mobility Authority Executive Director James Bass said.

The new toll rates will go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.



MOST RECENT

Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opened in Northwest Austin on Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opens first Central Texas location in Northwest Austin; House of Pies opens in Cypress and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 8.

Pitmaster Orie King serves up a brisket platter at OG’s Barbeque at the Cedar Pork food truck park. (Leila Saidane/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mixed cuisine food truck park fills ‘food void’ in Cedar Park

Cedar Pork Food Park offers bbq, burgers, tacos and more.

Williamson County Commissioners Court will discuss allocating the remaining CARES Act funding during its Dec. 14 meeting. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County officials discuss how to spend remaining federal coronavirus relief funding

County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer said the county has approximately $18 million remaining of the $93.4 million Williamson County received from the CARES Act.

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

The neighborhood has a pool, clubhouse and playground on Heritage Park Drive.
Featured neighborhood: Heritage Park

Take a peek inside this Cedar Park neighborhood.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

A mosquito trap tested positive for West Nile virus Dec. 2 in Cedar Park near RM 1431 and West New Hope Road, according to the Williamson County and Cities Health District. (Courtesy Pexels)
Mosquito trap in Cedar Park tests positive Dec. 2 for West Nile virus

This is the second positive test reported in Williamson County this week.

The work is expected to last into early 2026. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
183 North project on track to begin in early 2022

The project will add two tolled and one non-tolled lane in each direction.