North Tarrant Express FAQs - TEXpress Lanes

TEXpress Lanes are tolled express lanes built within a highway corridor that use dynamic, congestion-management pricing to provide extra capacity, efficiently handle more traffic volume, and maintain a minimum speed of 50 mph.

A toll road, like the Chisolm Trail Parkway (CTP) or the President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT), charges a fixed or scheduled rate for the use of the road. Additionally, toll roads do not generally predict travel times or ensure that traffic will keep moving as do the TEXpress Lanes.

TEXpress Lanes are designated express lanes within highway corridors with prices that fluctuate based on supply and demand to prevent congestion.

Equipment monitoring real-time traffic conditions will adjust the prices periodically throughout the day based upon the average speed and number of drivers who want to use the TEXpress Lanes. Prices may go up or down, depending upon the amount of traffic and the time of day, but customers are notified of the price they will pay prior to entering any segment of the TEXpress Lanes.

Prices will be lower during non-peak driving times. The variable pricing ensures you a predictable, higher-speed commute.

No. You may choose to drive on the reconstructed general highway lanes at no cost or, depending on traffic conditions, your schedule, and your budget, you can choose to take the adjacent tolled TEXpress Lanes.

Currently, TEXpress Lanes are under construction, being planned or open on six major Dallas-Fort Worth corridors in addition to the North Tarrant Express:

  • LBJ Express (I-635 and I-35E/Loop 12) OPEN
  • DFW Connector (SH-114) OPEN
  • I-30 (Tom Landry Freeway) OPEN
  • I-35 OPEN
  • NTE 35W
  • Midtown Express (SH-183, SH-114 and Loop 12/Walton Walker Freeway)

Anyone can use TEXpress Lanes, including local drivers, commuters and out-of-town travelers. Drivers can use any tag from Texas (TxDOT’s TxTag, NTTA’s TollTag, or HCTRA’s EZ TAG) or, alternately, pay by mail for an additional surcharge.

Current prices are clearly displayed on signs in advance of each entrance ramp and toll segment entry point. There are two toll segments on the NTE TEXpress Lanes—each toll segment has a separate price (if you drive both segments for your trip, you will incur two toll charges). You will also see separate prices for pre-registered HOV 2+ users and single occupancy vehicles (with a valid TollTag, TxTag or EZ TAG) on all signs. Single occupancy vehicles without a TollTag, TxTag or EZ TAG pay 50% more than the posted prices. Larger vehicles also pay higher tolls. 

Click here for more information on HOV Discount Qualifications and Activation

GoCarma is an independent platform managed by NCTCOG, separate from NTTA, TxDOT and Drive On TEXpress. The Regional Transportation Council set a policy to move to more advanced technology to verify HOV status and replace manual enforcement. At least one smartphone in each registered vehicle is required through the GoCarma technology selected to meet the RTC's policy. 
 
As GoCarma is a new technology & application, we recommend that you visit the GoCarma Help Center for live chat support, help with technical questions and how to get started with the new GoCarma technology. Additionally, the GoCarma Call Center is available at 469-606-3920, Monday-Friday; 9am – 5pm CT.

Click here for detailed information on HOV Discount Qualifications and Activation 

You will qualify for an HOV toll discount on NTE TEXpress Lanes as long as:

  • You have at least two people in the vehicle, such as a driver and a passenger (motorcycles do not require a passenger).
  • You have a valid TollTag, TxTag or EZ TAG account in good standing (i.e. cannot fall into a negative balance)
  • Your Tag is properly mounted on your vehicle's windshield—including motorcycles—for our scanners to read them.
  • Your trip is during weekday rush-hour periods, Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
  • You use the GoCarma app technology
    • The Regional Transportation Council set a policy to move to more advanced technology to verify HOV status and replace manual enforcement. One smartphone in each registered vehicle is required through the GoCarma technology selected to meet the RTC’s policy.
    • The GoCarma app is an independent platform developed by Carma Technologies Corporation through a contract with the North Central Council of Governments (NCTCOG)

During the first six months following the opening of the North Tarrant Express project in October 2014, prices on the NTE TEXpress Lanes were fixed and did not make use of the real-time price increases and decreases. Rather, our pricing was scheduled higher during peak hours and lower during non-peak hours. This essentially simulated the demand-based tolling policies as we developed final pricing for the real-time, demand-based phase of our operations. After that six-month evaluation period, which occurred on April 2, 2015, new tolling policies were implemented in which the price changes based on a number of factors, including real-time congestion levels in each segment and/or the time of day.

Now that the NTE TEXpress Lanes have entered into the dynamic pricing phase, average toll prices may range from 10 cents to 25 cents per mile during lighter traffic, and 45 cents to 75 cents during rush hour. In the event that the average speed on the NTE TEXpress Lanes drops below 50 mph and starts to deteriorate, the toll rate will rise in order to maintain an average 50 mph trip in each segment of the corridor (the NTE TEXpress Lanes are comprised of two toll segments).

Applicable prices will depend on:

Traffic conditions as they change during the day (for instance, there will be higher toll rates during periods of higher congestion to maintain the 50 mph traffic speed)

  • Shape and size of vehicle
  • Number of passengers in the vehicle. Under the current policy, a minimum of two passengers (including the driver) are considered HOV (motorocycles do not need a passenger) and must meet the requirements for HOV Discount Qualifications and Activation. HOV users must have a windshield transponder (TxTAG, TollTag or EZ TAG) to receive the HOV discount.

The NTE TEXpress Lanes will have a total of four toll segments once the I-35W extension is completed.

NTE TEXpress Lanes on Northeast Loop 820 and Airport Freeway are comprised of two separate toll segments. Toll Segment 1 begins at I-35W and ends at the Northeast Loop / Airport Freeway interchange, near North East Mall. Toll Segment 2 begins at the Northeast Loop / Airport Freeway interchange and ends at Industrial Boulevard. Two NTE TEXpress Lanes toll segments are on the I-35W extension. Toll Segment 3, which will open in 2018, runs from I-30 to Northeast Loop 820. Toll Segment 4, opening in two sections beginning in summer 2017, starts at Northeast Loop 820 and ends just north of US 287.

Once you enter a toll segment, you are charged for that segment. If you decide to continue to the next toll segment, you will see a pricing sign for that second segment—well in advance—to help you determine whether to continue your trip on the TEXpress Lanes or exit them. Once you enter the second tolling segment, you will be charged for that additional segment (charges for both segments will appear on your billing statement). Click here for a map that features all of the toll gantries for the NTE TEXpress Lanes.