The Afterburner 04/16/14
By LeaAnne Klentzman
Get A Rope! – As if paying to park on a roadway (Westpark Toll Road!) does not stand your hair on end enough, just wait. This is what happens when you leave even a quasi-government operation unattended. Here’s the deal…
Seems your toll Road Authority, their Guru or their Guru’s crony on Commissioner’s Court want to break away from their association with the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCRTA). So YOUR Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority (FBCTRA) along with its sister operation Grand Parkway Toll Road Authority (GPTRA) is changing their association from Harris County Toll Road Authority to …wait for it….New Jersey. Yes, you read that right, we, the residents of Fort Bend County and our traveling visitors and violators, have to deal with New Jersey to get anything done.
Our County Commissioners have allowed the Toll Road Authority to force WE, the taxpayers here in southeast Texas, to deal with the folks that brought us the George Washington Bridge debacle. Really? When you have a toll problem, and there are many, you have to call 855-999-2024 in Trenton, New Jersey to be told to go pound sand. And by the way, if you ask any questions, they give you the Sugar Land number for the Toll Road Authority which goes to yet another voicemail.
This came to our attention when letters and phone calls arrived regarding erroneous toll violations. Seems if one has had the audacity to use those newfangled overpasses on the Grand Parkway, well it is hit or miss if your EZ Tag works. Violators that have contacted the “Star” were told they would either have to pay or get a letter from the EZ Tag folks over at Harris County Toll Road Authority proving their tag was in good standing. After several inquiries, the story is …it is a glitch in software communications. Well, sure seems like a lot more than that, but you can get it fixed right up with the new and improved vendor hired to collect your toll violations, good or not, they are Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc. in Trenton, NEW JERSEY.
According to the website, for the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority if you would like to handle a violation in person you can go to the nearest “MoneyGram locations and pay for the Toll Violation Notice by providing the Code 1262, Toll Violation Notice number (as account number) and your Last Name as it appears on the violation notice. For inquiries call Customer Support.” So go on, pay to drive on the road, if they want any human interaction, go on over to Walmart of Fiesta, or any of the other MoneyGram places, stand in line and still no one to help you that has a clue of what the problem is.
The FBCTRA website states, “In accordance with Transportation Code 370.177, unpaid toll notices are subject to legal action. The following table shows how five (5) violations can add up to more than $250 in tolls + penalty.” They even give the example of a toll violation of over 121 days = Charge of 256.75 which includes Toll ($1.75) +Notice Penalty ($25) +Violation Penalty ($70) + Admin Hearing Fee ($160) = $256.75. Of course if you chose to just pay, even though Xerox and the Toll Road Authority acknowledge they are suffering from inadvertent tolls, you can just ring them up, give them your credit card and hope they don’t make any inadvertent charges.
Who would have ever dreamed that our own leaders would outsource us to New Jersey? Get a rope! …stay tuned there will be more….
Send questions or inquiries
to LeaAnne Klentzman
Fort Bend Star
4655 Techniplex Dr. Suite 300
Stafford Texas 77477
Short URL: http://www.fortbendstar.com/?p=39614