Transportation remains a key challenge for Texas and the state recently passed a proposition to increase funding of roadways. Many have suggested, however, that this funding is insufficient to meet the needs. One solution which allows for a quicker path for construction is the use of toll roads. The number of toll roads in the Lone Star State has increased significantly in recent years but they have a history of being controversial.
Nevertheless, Crosswind’s Texas Pulse shows significantly high usage of toll roads in Texas. Overall, drivers of toll roads are younger, have a higher educational level, are more likely to have children at home, and earn more money than those who don’t drive toll roads. Over two thirds of Texans (71%) have driven a toll road in the last year.
Married drivers (76%) are more likely to take toll roads than unmarried drivers (63%). The highest rate of toll road usage comes from parents with children at home (82%), indicating that toll roads provide convenience during rush hours when busy parents have to pick children up from school or take them to an after-school event and need a more predictable drive time, which studies have shown toll roads provide. A progressive increase in toll road usage by income may be related to increased interest in toll roads, but more likely indicates an inversely proportional value to drivers; as incomes rise, toll road bills diminish as a percentage of household costs.
Those most concerned with finding transportation solutions in Texas overwhelmingly embrace toll roads. Only 2% of Texans overall chose transportation as the biggest issue facing Texas. Among these, however, 84% said they drive toll roads.
With familiarity of toll roads comes praise. Texans give high ratings to toll roads, with 69% saying their experience on the roadways is excellent or good, and another 22% saying the experience was fair. The percentage of Texans rating their toll road experience well generally correlates with usage, indicating that those who use them most frequently are most likely to rate them well. Although younger drivers are more likely to take toll roads, older drivers do appreciate them. 72% of older drivers who take toll roads say their experience was excellent or good.