I live in the land of freeways!
For those of you not familiar with the term “freeway,” it means exactly how it sounds, not a tollway.
The only tolls I encounter on the freeway are bridge tolls.
I have have grown accustomed to bridge tolls.
It’s fact of life, a way of life.
The freeway lanes that lead up to the toll booths aka the toll plaza, are broken into categories.
Carpool Lane: Three people in a vehicle plus a “FasTrak” device that is pinged for lower bridge toll as the vehicle speeds through.
Regular Toll Lanes: Lanes dedicated to those of us who love the creepy crawly pace to the toll booth where full fare is extracted from our sweaty palms (because of the frustrated irritated vise like grip on steering wheels).
FasTrak Lanes: The intent is as it sounds. Not enough people for carpool but drivers with the device do not have to stop at a booth to pay toll. They can speed through the plaza if such an option were open to them during commute hours.
You see, from my slowly moving forward vantage point, FasTrak appears to be a misnomer simply because those particular lanes of privilege seem to move even slower than this regular lane driver as I maneuver my way through their stop and go lanes to get to my favorite left lane which is still snail slow.
I often muse on this phenomenon as I quietly sit and rant at those drivers who cheat lanes by staying in the carpool lane until they have no other option but to move over to the regular lane and cut in front of me at the last possible minute.
Which is way I have expressly chosen not to purchase that device because as an express lane during commuter hours, it expressly is not!
Ah, yes, the joy of CityLife!
Enjoyed to read, despite it being a frustrating fact of life. I am fortunate to live relatively far from toll roads/bridges so generally speaking I avoid them unless I am traveling, for that I am grateful. Wishing you a good commute today.
~tinbugs at Travelling Spoons
Thanks for your comments. Very few toll roads out this way but whenever I want to drive into San Francisco, I have to cross a bridge. I am always greeted by a happy toll taker with outstretched hand, one of the perks of living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
When we lived in Southern California, we were very familiar with fast track and toll roads. I remember once when we first moved to the Laguna Beach area, we were driving on a toll road. We weren’t familiar with where to actually pay the toll and missed the toll booth somehow. Sure enough we got a ticket summons thingy in the mail; the toll plus the fine for not paying the toll. I wrote a letter back paying it in full and saying we were sorry it wasn’t our intent but we had just moved down from Montana to the area and weren’t familiar with the roads yet. About 10 days later we got a refund for the fine part, still had to pay the toll 🙂
Wow! A state employee (or agency) with a heart. Love this story!
We don’t have many toll roads in our area, but I do remember them from when lived back east as a young couple. One of our first months there we took a road trip, not realizing that the main way back was a toll road, and we had no change with us at all. We ended up finding our way home along back roads, but always made it a habbit to have change for tolls with us in the future. (This was way before the technology that sends you a bill for the toll in the mail or to your credit card!!)
I have had my anxious moments as I have approached a bridge and had to scrounge around in the bottom of my purse for change to pay the toll. I’m sure the people in the booths have seen it all but I am always a little embarrassed to pay with quarters. My daughter once convinced her sister she could use her credit card to pay a bridge toll. NOT! Thanks for stopping by.