As part of an ongoing effort to address traffic congestion on I-35 through the city of Austin, TX, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) plans to launch “Phase 2” of a truck toll discount program starting this month and running through the end of August next year.

James Bass, TXDOT’s executive director, said in a statement that this discount program gives trucks a break on the cost of tolls when they drive on State Highway (SH) 130 from the I-35 exit in Georgetown to U.S. 183 exit in Buda and on SH 45SE.

During this discount period, trucks with a valid TxTag transponder that travel on SH 130/SH 45SE between Georgetown and Buda will pay the standard two-axle rate of $8.04; a savings of 67% off the standard $24.12 TXTag truck toll rate, he said, and truckers who switch from Pay By Mail (PBM) to a TxTag could realize a savings of 75%; paying $21.41 instead of $32.07, Bass noted.

Vehicles without a valid TxTag, however – regardless of the number of axles – will pay the standard three-axle PBM rate, TXDOT stressed.

“By incentivizing truck drivers to use SH 130 during peak hours, we hope to help ease some of the gridlock we see on I-35 through Austin,” Bass said. “Diverting these trucks will not only benefit the truck drivers, but also commuters on I-35 who will have less traffic to contend with while trying to reach their destinations.”

The Texas state legislature approved $18.7 million over two years, subject to availability, to provide a toll discount for large trucks traveling on SH 130 and on SH 45SE, noted State Senator Kirk Watson in a statement.

“Addressing congestion on I-35, one of the most congested corridors in Texas, will take an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach,” he added. “Incentivizing trucks to use SH 130 is one part of that effort.”