Drivers utilizing the Brazoria County portion of the Hwy. 288 toll road, the Brazoria County Expressway, saw the first rate increase in the 13 months of the toll’s existence.

The Brazoria County Toll Road Authority on Jan. 10 raised the rates of the two gantries, where drivers are charged for using the express lanes, to a total of $2.65 heading north or southbound—charging $1 at the CR 58 gantry and $1.65 at the McHard Road gantry. The previous rate was $1.80, Brazoria County Engineer Matt Hanks said.

“We felt it was the right thing to do as a toll road authority,” Hanks said.

The Hwy. 288 toll road extends from CR 58 in Pearland to Hwy. 59 in Houston, heading in both north and south directions.

Harris County’s toll road portion extends from Hwy. 59 to Clear Creek and is maintained and operated by the Blueridge Transportation Group through a public-private partnership, said Raynese Edwards, public information officer for BTG Hwy. 288. The BTG does not maintain nor operate Brazoria County’s portion, Hanks said.

The toll rates on the Hwy. 288 Expressway are dictated by the market share, inflation rate and congestion, Hanks said.

On Dec. 1, 2020, the Harris County portion charged drivers traveling through all three Harris County gantries $5-$6.30, depending on the time of day and driving direction, according to the Drive 288 website, which provides drivers with the daily rates of the Hwy. 288 express lanes in Harris County set by the BTG.

As of press time Feb. 8, rates have increased to $10.59-$11.51 for the same trip, according to the Drive 288 website. Brazoria County increased its toll rate Jan. 10 due to Harris County’s increased rates, Hanks said.

The BTG reviews Harris County’s rates of the Hwy. 288 managed lanes on a monthly basis, Edwards said, but it can also fluctuate every 30 minutes, depending on demand and time of day. Brazoria County’s rate does not fluctuate, Hanks said.

“Depending on the customer, we have received complaints on pricing; however, we have also received compliments related to the time savings for travel,” Edwards said. Expressway changes

Brazoria and Harris counties raised the rates of their respective portions of the Hwy. 288 Expressway. Brazoria County’s rate has risen by 85 cents since December 2020, while Harris County’s has risen by more than $5.