FORT ELWOOD- Drivers traveling between Quentinsburgh and Vandover may soon see new expenses added to their trip, as the federal and state departments of transportation consider putting tolls on Unionway 4 between north Quentinsburgh and southern Vandover. This means the extensions of U-4 running through Haroldsborough and Fort Elwood would also be toll highways, although local traffic will be able to drive for free. Tolls would most likely be located between towns, such as between Quentinsburgh and Haroldsborough, between Haroldsborough and Fort Elwood, and between Fort Elwood and Vandover. An entry toll will also be added to the Freedemia/Nature border for entering traffic.
The reasoning behind pushing for the new tolls is improvement of parallel rail transportation. After recent changes to the MetroWest Commuter Rail, one can easily get back and forth between Nature City (in Nature), Laneston, Vandover, Fort Elwood, Haroldsborough, Mathersboro, and Quentinsburgh, and technically, even further south to places like Graham City. The MetroWest line is the most reliable and frequently running regional intercity rail line in the country, and is generally seen as the most reliable in all of Western Tarephia. It is also reasonably affordable, with prices at f’5.50 per ride.
The primary reasoning used over the past decade or so against tolls on U-4 was the lack of reliable public transit alternatives. However, with the MetroWest, there is a viable reliable transit option. Local transit systems have even started better serving the commuter rail stations to connect them to the rest of the area. This is the alternative that was needed.
In order to make the commuter rail much more viable to intercity travelers, the toll price currently proposed is f’6.00 for a full trip to Vandover, a full fc50 more than the MetroWest line. While many will continue driving, the hope is many will switch to using the MetroWest commuter rail instead.
Tolls are also being considered for the U-4 between Franklinsburgh and Anneitasburgh, perhaps the country’s most important and longest stretch of unionway, connecting the isolated eastern corner of the country, the populated western part, and the many towns lining it. However, more improvements to rail transit in the area are still needed before that can happen.