Waze has the ability to mark toll facilities, to assist in providing better information and routing options to users. In addition to traditional toll roads, HOT lanes, toll ferries and roads through parks that require an entrance fee may also be marked as toll roads. Depending on the facility, this can be be through simply marking a whole segment as a toll road, or by creating a toll-free partial restriction; for either method used, the effects are identical when a user's route traverses a qualifying toll road segment. Routes that traverse a toll segment will show a toll icon on the route preview and route comparison screens in the app. In addition, an estimated price will be displayed in the toll icon, if this information has been added to Waze's toll price tool. Toll roads also affect routing in unique ways.
Toll roads have two different routing effects, dependent upon what a user selects in the navigation settings in the client app:
- When the client option to "avoid toll roads" is disabled, a small routing penalty is added to every transition from a toll segment to a non-toll segment.
- This means that the routing server may choose a free route, even if it takes a little longer than a toll route.
- This also means that the routing server may choose a route with one toll segment, even if it takes a little longer than a route with multiple discontinuous toll segments.
- When the client option to "avoid toll roads" is enabled, a large routing penalty is added to the route for every single toll segment, even in sequence.
- This means that any toll segment will be avoided if at all reasonably possible.
- This also means that given two route options the routing server will choose the one with the fewest number of toll segments, regardless of if they are consecutive or not.
Note: The penalty for "avoid toll roads" is very high, and the definition here of reasonable may seem extreme. The routing server will prefer a significant detour to avoid a toll, but not one it considers to be insane or impossible. The exact amounts of both penalties are proprietary information and are not published by Waze.
For most toll roads, all traffic must pay a toll at all times. We will call this a fully tolled road. If a road can be used for free by a subset of vehicles or at certain times, we will call it a partially tolled road.
To represent a fully tolled road in the editor, click the Add restrictions button and check the Toll road attribute.
The choice of which segments to mark as toll can be made according to one of two methods. Note that within a certain area, these methods should not be mixed, because improper routing may result.
Only collection points
Under this method, only a segment (entrance/exit/highway) that actually traverses through a toll booth, collection point, or ticket dispenser is marked as toll. This means that all paths traverse a single toll segment per toll location, and they are only assessed with a single toll penalty, whether avoid toll roads is on or off. This may mean that only a single segment is tolled, or if there are parallel segments going through the toll location (e.g. multiple entrance or exit ramps, cash and pass lanes), a single segment of each path is tolled. This method works well when a driver wants to or must use a toll road, and the avoid toll roads option is enabled. This is the preferred method for most of the US.
There are a few benefits to this method, as opposed to marking every segment of a toll road.
- It allows the routing server to pick a route with lowest number of tolls along the route.
- It will apply an identical penalty to two different toll roads (assuming they both have one toll collection point) regardless of how many segments the toll road is made of. This allows two toll bridges and/or tunnels to the same destination to be treated equally; the routing server will pick the most appropriate one regardless of their individual segment count.
- It reduces the likelihood of detours through rest areas, whose roads would not otherwise be tolled.
In some regions editors may choose to mark all segments of a toll road as toll. This works well for users who do not have the avoid toll roads option enabled, and multiple options exist with toll collection points spaced closely together. The routing server assesses the same penalty for traveling on any toll road, because one transition off the toll road exists for any option.
Partially tolled roads must be represented in the editor with toll-free restrictions.