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What is a Toll Booth?

Meaning | Concept | Definition:

A toll booth is a small structure on some highways and bridges that is used to collect fees to pass through it. This is called a toll road or bridge. There are usually several toll booth structures located at each toll stop, with a person or money collecting machine manning each one.

Attendants receive money from drivers at toll booths.

Most toll roads use a series of toll booth structures at each toll stop to maximize traffic flow. There are often self pay lines for users with exact fee usually charged in coin type currency. These booths are unmanned and when the appropriate amount of money is received, a door opens allowing the vehicle to pass through.

The staffed toll booth houses a worker who accepts the toll and can provide change and a receipt if needed. Some toll roads or bridges employ rapid scan technology that allows a car with a sensor to pass without stopping.

This driver pays an amount for the use of the toll in advance or pays later. Other toll booths use license plate readers that send a bill for the fee to the car’s registered owner.

In the United States, many toll roads are state-owned. Therefore, these toll road workers are state employees. The same goes for toll bridges. These workers usually arrive at a particular location and are then transported to the toll booth in a bus or van.

This prevents workers’ vehicles from having to park at the toll booth and causing congestion. Workers are picked up and transported back to their vehicles at the end of their work shift.

The toll road or toll bridge is intended to be self-supporting. The money raised is used to maintain the road or bridge, offset the initial cost of the project, and pay highway employees.

Most turnpike projects have a theoretical time limit on how long a toll will be collected until enough money has been generated to pay for the project. In most cases, however, the end never comes and the turnpike continues to collect the toll by extending the time limit.

The toll booth is small and offers just enough space for the worker to complete the task at hand. Most come equipped with a small heater and seat and nothing else in the way of creature comforts. While some units have sliding windows to help keep out the cold, the typical cab does not have sliding windows due to how often the worker collects tolls from passing vehicles.

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