Orange County proposes increased toll rate

| 12/6/2001

In an effort to increase revenue, officials in Orange County, CA, are planning to overhaul the toll structure for all vehicles driving the county's 67-mile toll-road system. The pricing plan proposes higher rates during peak travel hours and for those paying cash.

Under the new toll scheme, drivers who fail to sign up for FasTrak - an electronic toll-collection system that automatically deducts tolls from prepaid accounts as drivers pass through designated lanes - will be forced to pay more to use state routes 73, 133, 241 and 261.

The proposed toll rates are scheduled to be considered by the Transportation Corridor Agencies board of directors on Dec. 13. The group oversees the operation of the routes. If approved, the new rates would go into effect by February 2002, Clare Climaco, a spokesperson for TCA, told Land Line.

Tolls on the San Joaquin Hills (73) Toll Road, Catalina View Mainline Toll Plaza will jump from $7.50 for 5-axle trucks to $12; Foothill (241) Toll Road, Tomato Springs Mainline Toll Plaza will increase from $4.50 to $7; Eastern (133) Toll Road, Orange Grove Mainline Toll Plaza from $5 to $6; Eastern (133) Toll Road, Windy Ridge Mainline Toll Plaza from $9 to $10; and Eastern (261) Toll Road, Irvine Ranch Mainline Toll Plaza from $4 to $5.

The new pricing structure is estimated to create $4.6 million in additional toll revenue in fiscal year 2003, which will go toward paying the $3.5 billion in bond debt used to fund toll-road construction and operation, Climaco said.
--Keith Goble