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Tolls in History: 1½¢ Per Head of Sheep, Hogs, or Calves

By: 
Bill Cramer

The next time you set out on a summer vacation trip, there’s a new item you’ll want to add to your travel checklist.

You should still check your tire pressure and fluid levels, pack your emergency blankets, flashlights, and first aid kit, and remember never to text or make a phone call while you’re at the wheel.

But even in an era of cashless, all-electronic tolling, you might want to bring along some small change.

Just for old times’ sake.

Especially if you plan to cross a bridge while carrying live sheep, hogs, calves, or horned cattle.

That’s what an ever-alert member of IBTTA’s Moving America Forward team found out last month, on a holiday visit to the Dollywood resort in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

While a Dollywood spokesperson dates the sign to the mid-1800s, there’s no precise fix on how recently customers paid an 18½¢ toll for a stage wagon drawn by a single horse. (Five-horse wagons received a fabulous group discount at 37¢. But there’s no word on whether they got to use the HOV lane.)

But it’s a sure bet that the customers and toll operators of yesteryear would be shocked at today’s fast-moving, tech-enabled tolling systems that allow customers (with much more horsepower under a much more elaborate hood) to pass through a gantry at highway speed.

Convenient mobility is a hot topic in any era! Get up to date at IBTTA’s 85th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, September 10-12, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

(Photo: Brad Luna/LUNA+EISENLA media)