Starting Thursday, tolls will be waived for qualified veterans who drive on certain toll roads in Central Texas.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority approved its Qualified Veterans Discount Program in July to waive tolls on Toll 183A, Toll 290 and SH 71 as well as the future US 183 South and SH 45 SW projects when those open in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Free tolls will be available to qualified veterans through 2021 when the agency will revisit the program.
“I think what we’re doing here is a token of appreciation of what veterans do for our country,” said board member David Armbrust, who is a veteran himself, at the July board meeting.
To participate in the program, veterans must complete a registration form online at www.mobilityauthority.com/veterans. Agency staffers will then confirm the veteran’s eligibility, which includes disabled veterans and Purple Heart, Legion of Valor or Medal of Honor recipients. Eligible veterans may only have one license plate associated with their electronic toll tag.
After confirming eligibility, Director of Operations Tracie Brown said the agency will email the veteran that he or she was approved for the program and provide the veteran with the effective date of free tolls.
As of Oct. 31, Brown said 350 veterans are already enrolled in the program. Another 650 qualified veterans have settled their toll balances to become eligible, she said. In Texas, about 347,000 veterans already have qualified plates, and the Mobility Authority sent letters to abut 25,000 veterans who had previously driven on its facilities to notify them about the new program.
The program is estimated to cost the Mobility Authority about $1 million to $2.5 million per year.