Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

A unique payoff for riding transit, but will it work?

Just last week, the cost to travel the entire 16-mile stretch of I-85 High Occupancy Toll lane hit a record high of $11.

Lately so many people have been clamoring to escape rush hour purgatory by using the paid express lane that the term "express" doesn't exactly apply. Sometimes, it's stop and go.

So the state is offering some unique incentives to help lower HOT lane usage during peak travel times, rather than just continuing to hike the per-mile price. One of them is toll credits. Ride MARTA or an Xpress bus and you could earn up to $60 in toll credits over a six-month period. (See my last article for more details).

Thursday is the last day to register for the program online at http://www.peachpass.com/transit-toll-credits. I'm sure whoever devised the program at the State Road and Tollway Authority is hoping it will convert die-hard highway drivers to permanent (or at least more frequent) transit riders. For that matter, so is everybody else who is tired of getting bogged down by traffic in the supposedly free-flowing HOT lane.

But will it work? Let's wait and see.

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