A frequent-user pass can save drivers up to 90 percent of what it would cost to stop at the booths every time, Barr said.
The EZ-Pass system is linked to driver credit cards, and the authority absorbs the credit card fees, French said. Next year, the authority is budgeting more than $500,000 for the cost of those fees, French said.
The increased fee cost is reflected by a small bump in anticipated operating costs. The authority expects costs to increase by 1.6 percent, from $17.1 million to $17.4 million.
Net revenue is expected to rise by $2.9 million, from $21.6 million to $24.5 million. That's largely because the anticipated cost of renewal and replacement programs is down by about $850,000. Costs for vehicle and equipment, concrete repair and facilities renovations are all expected to decline.
Tamarack, the authority-run arts and craft center near Beckley, is still losing money. Revenues are expected to come in at $3.9 million, compared to $5.3 million in operating costs. Barr said the authority would make up the difference in overall concession revenue.
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