Like certain segments of the Grand Parkway and the entire Westpark Toll Road (among others), drivers will need an electronic toll tag, either an EZ TAG or a TxTag, to utilize the 21-mile roadway.
According to the Harris County Toll Road Authority website, 80 percent of drivers during peak times already use electronic payment on the Hardy, and additional payment lanes will undoubtedly speed traffic during rush hour. Beyond not having to slow down to pay, the HCTRA has always provided the incentive of less expensive tolls to those who pay electronically.
People who will be negatively effected include those who use the Hardy occasionally as a respite from the grueling traffic on I-45 on inner loopers who hop on the roadway to expedite an occasional trip to the Woodlands for a concert or staycation.
Those who feel pressured to acquire a tag but are also looking to save a little money should consider a TxTag instead of a EZTAG. Issued by the Texas Department of Transportation, the TxTag has a lower initial payment ($20 instead of $40) and doesn't cost anything to acquire if the driver accepts automatic debits (each EZTAG is $15).