About two years ago, the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority rolled out its own toll tag. We call it the Fuego Tag. And so it was used at our toll road which is State Highway 550.
Today we have a partnership with Cameron County. We’re working with the County to be able to make our tag interoperable at the three county owned bridges in Brownsville and at Los Indios. We’re also working with Cameron County so that all the coastal parks at South Padre Island are tagged as interoperable at all the county parks.
And, we recently entered into a partnership with the Harris County Toll Road Authority. Ans one of the benefits that we will get is that our tag will be interoperable not only in Cameron County, but also in the state of Texas and beyond the state of Texas in seven other different states in the Midwest.
Eventually, our Fuego Tag will be interoperable from the Mexican border all the way to the Canadian border. We want to maintain the partnership that we have with the City of Pharr, at the Pharr Bridge. We want to reach out to other bridge owners and possibly make our tag interoperable with other bridges in the Rio Grande Valley.
Half of the properties on South Padre Island are owned by Mexican nationals and a lot of those come from the Monterey area. So, it would be ideal to have our tag interoperable at all international bridges in the Rio Grande Valley as they go into Mexico.
And it would be ideal if we could work with officials from Mexico and make our tag interoperable on the toll road going from Reynosa to Monterrey and if you are coming back to the United States at any of the international bridges in the Rio Grande Valley, if our tag can be interoperable, that would be ideal.
Because, for the end user, at the end of the day, at the end of the month, they’ll get one monthly statement. One toll tag, whether you’re cross at Pharr, Anzalduas or Brownsville, whether you use a county park at South Padre Island, or you use a toll road going to the Port of Brownsville, you’ll get one statement at the end of the month and it would be a lot easier to account for.
So, we’re very excited about the partnership with Harris County Toll Authority and we’re hoping to be able to partner and visit with all the bridge owners of the Rio Grande Valley. And, more importantly, we’re looking forward to starting the dialogue and continuing the dialogue with Mexican officials so that our tag can also be interoperable in Mexico.
Editor’s Note: The above commentary was provided by Pete Sepulveda to the TxDOT Border Trade Advisory Committee at a meeting held in McAllen on Aug. 22, 2023. Sepulveda is executive director of Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority. He can be reached by email via: PSepulveda@co.cameron.tx.us.
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