Toll road authorities working to clear up violations from expired credit card information

ByFort Bend Sun / Zach Haverkamp
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Grand Parkway near the Westpark Tollway
The Grand Parkway near the Westpark Tollway (FM 1093), in Fort Bend County.
ktrk-Zach Haverkamp

FORT BEND CO, TX -- Currently, about 70 percent of the complaints received by the Fort Bend Grand Parkway Toll Road Authority (FBGPTRA) concern expired card information - specifically, when a driver is issued a new credit card, then receives a wrongful violation for not updating their automatic bill pay information. But with the use of a new piece of software, the FBGPTRA is hoping to nullify some of the issue.

When a user sets up an account with one of the state agencies that issue that issue electronic toll payment tags - primarily EZ TAG through the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) and the Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) TxTag program - oftentimes, drivers will not call or go online to update their toll tag account with their new credit card's expiration date.

When their toll tag agency declines payment for lack of current information, their account goes into suspended status.

Typically, HCTRA or TxDOT will notify the customer to update their credit card. But during the interim between the card's decline and when the agency receives the driver's updated credit card information, all toll transactions are rejected and the account goes into the violation process.

As it was, a driver had to update their payment information with both the agency that issued their tag and the FBGPTRA, said Attorney Richard Muller, general counsel for the FBGPTRA.

In response, the FBGPTRA asked TransCore, which built the toll system for the Fort Bend stretch of the Grand Parkway (Segment D), to write a simple search program to help rectify the problem.