Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy To Pay More For A Nicer Colorado

On my recent two-day bidness jaunt to Boulder, I once again had the distinct pleasure of cruising along the E-470 Public Highway. After I picked up my rental car and got out of Denver International Airport, I cranked up the iPod radio transmitter, kicked back, and enjoyed the wide-open, hassle free ride.

It's a toll road, but one that you don't mind paying for at all. The speed limit is seventy-five, the roadway is new, and you share the road with very few cars. Six bucks to get from DIA to Boulder (the last $2 on another toll way) is a bargain by any measure.

I've now hit the E-470 four or five times and the one thing that has always floors me is the toll way operators. Without exception, they've been friendly, polite, and seem genuinely happy to be doing their jobs. Not exactly what one would expect in such a occupation, but it is what they ask for:

The Toll Service Attendant represents the E-470 Public Highway Authority in dealing with patrons in a courteous, professional and helpful manner. Provides drivers with available information concerning routes and area attractions. Registers toll transactions and collects toll amount from persons traveling on toll road. Makes proper change and issues receipts to patrons.

Usually the attendants ask if you want a receipt, which is nice when you're driving on your company's dime. I have to believe that these attendants are not state employees and if that is the case, they--and the E-470--make a powerful argument for further privatization of our highways and byways.

UPDATE: The E-470 is actually operated by a group of local governments.

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