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Group Calls For Boycott Of 85 mph State Highway 130 Toll

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio

After a toll-free trial run, State Highway 130 has begun charging motorists to use the Seguin-to-Austin 85 mile-per-hour highway. Texas Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) is urging drivers to boycott the fastest highway in the United States.

With the $13 one-way toll now in effect on SH 130, going to Austin from Seguin and back could cost you almost half a tank of gas.

Director of TURF Terri Hall is calling the entire highway a “Boondoggle” due to what she says is a revenue sharing agreement with TxDOT and Spanish based Cintra – the operator of the toll.

“It’s a big fat failure and the only language that our politicians and Cintra understand is that of money,” Hall said.

Among many concerns, Hall says that a contract keeps the state from opening any competing roads nearby which would eliminate competition.

“The whole reason why Cintra has a non-compete is because if there’s free-roads that are free-flowing alongside its toll way then no one is going to pay thirteen bucks one-way to take this toll road every day,” Hall said.

TURF members also claim that TxDOT may have received a large financial incentive to raise the speed so high.

“Their decisions are being made out of profit and greed, not the public interest,” said Hall. “This agency has hopelessly lost its way to the point that it’s now endangering the lives of Texas motorists by making decisions by making financial incentives instead of the public good.”

On Sunday the highway had it first fatality – it has not been determined if speed was a factor. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules