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Ask the Experts



Why Do We Pay Tolls?

Q: Why aren’t you giving free tolls right now?

A: As we weather these difficult times together, we remain focused on our mission of serving local communities with reliable transportation options and top-notch customer service.

Although traffic is light as more and more people protect themselves and others through social distancing and “Shelter in Place” orders, many essential workers are still relying on our roads to get to and from work.

And to ensure we deliver safe and smooth travel now and in the future, we collect tolls to fund our operations and repay debt.

NTTA has a unique funding model. Unlike other government agencies that receive local, state or federal tax funding, we’re funded only by the tolls we collect – not taxes. And those tolls pay for our operations, road improvements like the additional fourth lane on many of our roads, road maintenance, safety programs and debt repayment obligations.

Over the years, due to a lack of state transportation funds, the region has asked NTTA to build its network of toll roads as a transportation option for the citizens of North Texas. To meet this request, we borrowed money to fund construction. Our debt is approximately $9 billion, primarily in the form of bonds held by real people, often through their 401(k) accounts, and many companies. If we were unable to repay that debt, it would deepen the hit this national health crisis has already inflicted on the economy.

Because NTTA isn’t part of local, state or federal budgeting, and we aren’t backed by a private corporation, at this point we may not receive emergency federal relief that some other businesses may receive. Tolls are the only way we can repay our debt and support our operations.

Drivers who make the choice to drive on an NTTA road benefit from roadside service programs and high-quality roads included in the cost of our tolls.

Keeping you safe as you drive is our top priority, which is why we focus on these programs. (Dial #999 for free roadside assistance on any NTTA road – we helped approximately 30,000 people last year.)

When daily routines and commutes resume, we’re here, and we’re ready to continue serving you.