DALLAS — It's billed as the latest way to help you beat traffic — for a price.
The new TEXpress Lanes on LBJ Freeway stretch from Greenville Avenue to Preston Road. They are three weeks old, and they've piqued the interest of drivers who travel on the busy highway.
“Whenever we first saw that it was open, we were like ‘Hey! We can go faster, get places sooner, even if we’re just paying a little bit more!’” said Casey Erdmann, who lives in North Dallas.
Erdmann said she welcomes the convenience, and the varying cost to use the road.
LBJ Express tolls will increase during rush hour. But there's confusion over the HOV price you may have seen posted.
If you want "50 percent off," you have to get it yourself.
“In order to get the discount , you have to have a TollTag and you have to register your trip,” explained LBJ Express spokeswoman Dia Kuykendall. “And the discount only applies for the peak periods of travel.”
What does that mean? There are no cameras to do the work for you. LBJ Express says it is up to the driver to go online to the TEXpress website, create an account, and tell them when you'll be riding with someone else during morning or evening rush hours.
Only then will you be eligible for the cheaper toll.
“So you have to know when you’re going to be on the road with other people and plan ahead?” asked Erdmann. “That’s not very fun!”
Two more tips you’ll need to know if you’re aiming for the cheaper rate:
If your trip is spontaneous, you can register within 15 minutes of being in the TEXpress lanes to still get the discount.
If you're a Monday through Friday carpooler who wants the deal each morning and night, you'll have to register your whole week, every week.
If this sounds like a hassle, LBJ Express says you can't blame them.
“Policies on registering vehicles were all set up by TexDOT and the North Central Texas Council of Governments,” Kuykendall said.
But for some drivers, It just may be enough to take the convenience away from these lanes.
“I don't have time for that,” Erdmann said.