Newspapertree: Payday lender received no-bid contract to take cash payments for Texas toll roads

January 10, 2014

Two new automated toll express lanes are set to open on the Cesar Chavez Border Highway at midnight on January 10. Toll road users can pay their tolls by mail or by purchasing a toll tag online through the North Texas Tollway Authority.

But, drivers who want to buy a toll tag with cash have to do so through an NTTA partner: ACE Cash Express, a payday lender.

The toll road, operated by the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, is the first of its kind in El Paso and will run along a nine mile stretch of the highway from east of U.S. Highway 54 to west of Zaragoza Road. The CRRMA partnered with the NTTA to provide administrative services, including processing toll tags.

ACE Cash Express’ relationship with NTTA goes back to 2010, when NTTA agreed to allow the payday lender to accept cash for tags, while charging ACE customers an extra $2 to $3 service fee per tag.

The NTTA-ACE contract was approved through a no-bid process and without a vote from the tollway authority board.

Read more here.