Tollbooths are kiosks at entry points to motorways; where road users are required to pay a fee in exchange for using a specific stretch of the road network. Tollbooths can be found in various areas of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars; their functionality varies between games.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, tollbooths can be be found in San Fierro at the entrance to Gant Bridge. Although cars stop at the tollbooth, it isn't functional for players (meaning no money is paid). NPC vehicles can be observed stopping at the tollbooths for several seconds, but the drivers cannot be seen paying anything. Modifications can be used to simulate the tollbooth functionality from GTA IV. Otherwise the tollbooth primarily serves as a road obstacle, serving no purpose other than being a decoration.
Grand Theft Auto IV
In Grand Theft Auto IV, tollbooths are fully functional and appear in Charge Island along the East Borough Bridge, on the Dukes Bay Bridge (Sing Sing Avenue bridge from Dukes to Bohan), and the long-stay car park at Francis International Airport. Players must stop and pay a toll of $5 to pass through; if the player breaks through the tollbooth barrier without paying, the player will attract a wanted level of one-star (although other drivers do not attract police attention if they break through the gate); this does not occur if the player is already wanted, and such an action will not recenter the search radius on the player in such a case, regardless of whether they are inside the search radius or not. Assignments during the game's version of the Roman's Taxi Driver sub-mission will often require the player to cross a toll bridge, potentially reducing the fares from the mission unless the toll is avoided.
In The Ballad of Gay Tony, the tollbooth gained a minor correction, where the trough used to collect coins will make a more audible sound of coins dropping when the player pays the fee.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Tollbooths function the same way in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, attract the same toll of $5, and are in the same locations, with the exception of Francis International Airport booth (now non-functional). The toll, however, must be actively paid—when stopping at or driving slowly past the tollbooth. In the DS version, the bottom screen will show an image of the trough used to collect coins. Pressing a button or touching the trough (touch screen devices) will throw the required amount, allowing the player to continue. In the PSP, iOS & Android versions of the game, the image of the trough is absent, so the players have to drive past the booths slowly to pay the toll. There is no room to drive around these booths. However, to skip past the tollbooth, the player can simply approach the booth at speed when no vehicles are around, bail out of the vehicle, and the vehicle will roll past the booth. Then, simply walk through the booth and re-enter the vehicle.
Exploits to avoid payment in GTA IV
- Emergency vehicles are exempt from the toll.
- There is a gap between the two sides of the road which can be passed through by narrow to average width cars and motorbikes, allowing the player to pass through free of charge. However, there is no gap in GTA Chinatown Wars.
- Reversing through the booth.
- Finally, it is possible from Dukes to simply drive down the off ramp to Charge Island and coming up the on ramp, which is located on the other side of the tollbooth (or vice versa driving from Algonquin/Bohan).
- The tolls can be passed slightly faster with the cell phone out, allowing the player to slow down instead of stopping.
- If the player has three wanted stars and smashes through the barrier, it will be reduced to one star. If the player has six stars and hits the barrier, it may reduce to four stars.
- Once the player pays the toll at a toll booth, the driver's side window will disappear.
- If the player breaks through a toll booth illegally, the cop within the booth will shout at the player, e.g. "Smile, you're on CCTV", "Come back and pay your toll!" or "Get back here, you son of a bitch!". They will say the same lines, even if the player does that with an emergency vehicle. Some of these soundbites were carried through into GTA Chinatown Wars.
- Toll booths are not permanent structures. They can be knocked out of place by ramming them with a vehicle or through explosions.
- Interestingly, when the player is on a motorcycle and decides to pay, the protagonist will sit as if in a car while paying, then resume the normal motorcycle driving position.
- If the player gains a wanted level by driving through the tollbooth in GTA Chinatown Wars, one can raise the wanted level by constantly going back & forth between the booths.