RMA toll booth collectors have unique stories to tell

By Rick Brady - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you travel along the Powhite Parkway, the Downtown Expressway  or the Boulevard Bridge, you'll  have encountered these intrepid folks we know as the keepers of the tolls.

Their official title is toll collection attendant, but rain or shine, 365 days a year, they are the brave men and women who collect the tolls -- one car at a time.

And not just anyone can fill the shoes of a toll taker, you have to have some pretty special skills.

"You need people to be honest, people-person that can get along with anybody and be able to make a transaction as quick and efficient as possible," said Claude Hines, floating shift supervisor for the Richmond Metro Authority.

It takes a special person to occupy one of these tiny booths, and each one of these collectors has their own unique stories to tell.

James Williams has been a TCA for five years. He has seen some strange things dropped into the change chute.

"People using food as money, like pizza slices or even chicken bones," Williams said. "Sometimes they throw it in the coin chutes."

Dorothy Taylor recalls a moment when things got pretty hot.

"There was one particular time, a lady came in a lane, and all of a sudden her car stopped and it burst into flames," Taylor said.

But the one constant among everyone we talked to is the sense of family they all feel.

"We have a very good plaza down here," Taylor declared.

If you feel you have what it takes to become a member of this special team, follow the links to the RMA's website at right.

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