A 2012 study indicates a trip between uptown Charlotte and Mooresville on an express toll lane could cost between $9 to $11 during rush hour. By the year 2035, a one-way trip will cost at least $20. The North Carolina Department of Transportation commissioned the study. The group Widen I-77, which opposes the toll lane, obtained it through a public records request. Jen Thompson, an NCDOT spokeswoman, doesn’t dispute the numbers from the study, but says the cost will likely shake out to much less than that for the average toll-lane user.
"We don’t anticipate it being nearly that amount," Thompson says. "We don’t expect motorists probably using the managed lane system for that entire roundtrip. So while we don’t know yet what the cost will be, the more reasonable number would be maybe in the average of $2 per trip."
The lanes will be free for cars with more than three passengers, emergency vehicles, buses and motorcycles. NCDOT expects to sign an agreement by the end of the month with the Spanish company Cintra Infraestructures to build and operate the toll lane. Construction is expected to begin next year.