Metro Atlanta hit a new record toll rate on the I-85 express lanes during the Wednesday morning commute.
The cost to use the lanes between Old Peachtree Road and Shallowford Road hit a record $16.60 and promptly rose to $16.90 before topping out at an even $17, according to the State Road and Tollway Authority.
The previous record, set in August 2018, was $15.50.
Since the I-85 express lanes opened in 2011, the authority board has established or adjusted rates four times. The latest change came in August 2018, when the board set a uniform toll rate across the entire express lanes system, which includes the I-75 express lanes in Cherokee and Cobb counties to the northwest and in Clayton and Henry counties to the south.
The change was aimed at reducing congestion and providing “a more reliable and predictable commute for Peach Pass customers,” according to the agency.
Chris Tomlinson, the board’s executive director, told Channel 2 Action News that volume is the primary factor in determining the rates.
“If volume in that lane increases significantly, the toll system will try to put pricing in to try and keep that lane flowing,” he said. “Our goal is to try and keep that lane moving at an average (speed) of about 45 mph.”
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