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OCNOW
By Anh Do | March 20, 2014
Orange County's vast network of toll roads will go cashless this spring, shutting down all of its toll booths and eliminating the need to fish for exact change. Motorists who travel the 51 miles of toll lanes can continue to use the FasTrak passes, which are scanned as drivers pass through toll plazas, or shift to a newly created ExpressAccount. The conversion will affect all of the county's toll roads -- the 73, 133, 241 and the 261 -- starting in May. The new ExpressAccount will operate on a vehicle identification system, with cars' license plates being scanned at toll plazas.
NEWS
June 29, 2012
The Transportation Corridors Agencies, which oversees the county's network of toll roads, provided more details about its all-electric tolling plan Friday. Motorists who drive on the toll roads without setting up an account beforehand will have 48 hours to pay their toll online, according to spokeswoman Lori Olin. Otherwise, vehicle owners will receive a violation, which today stands at $57.50, plus the toll amount. The TCA includes the 73, 261, 241 and 133 toll roads.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | October 7, 2013
The Costa Mesa City Council met Monday to discuss whether to pursue a lawsuit to prevent toll roads on the 405 Freeway, a proposal that was met with stiff opposition from area cities last year. Though there was no public report from the closed-session meeting, officials said the council weighed its options and will hear more from the city attorney's office in the coming days. Last year, representatives from Costa Mesa and five other cities - Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Westminster and Huntington Beach - opposed a $1.7-billion plan that would have added a toll lane and general-purpose lane in each direction between the 605 Freeway outside Rossmoor and the 73 Freeway in Costa Mesa.
NEWS
By Mike Reicher | June 29, 2012
The Transportation Corridor Agencies plan to eliminate cash payments and toll booth jobs as they try to squeeze more out of their financially strapped highways. The San Joaquin Hills (73) and other county toll roads will phase out cash payments over 16 months, beginning this summer. In addition, a new toll rate hike takes effect Sunday. Cash tolls will increase by 50 cents on the 73 at the Catalina View Toll Plaza, and 25 cents at the Aliso Creek, El Toro, Newport Coast and Bonita Canyon ramp toll plazas.
NEWS
December 21, 2003
Alicia Robinson City leaders are backing a plan to merge operations of the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road with the Eastern and Foothill toll roads that they hope will keep tolls from skyrocketing. The transportation corridor agencies that oversee the toll roads plan to move forward with the merger in early 2004. The plan will save the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road from financial crisis but will extend the debt obligations of Foothill and Eastern toll roads.
NEWS
February 15, 2004
Alicia Robinson The Transportation Corridor Agencies, which govern the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and Foothill and Eastern toll roads, are set to vote Thursday on whether to consolidate the toll roads' operations. Officials have been working for two years on the merger to prevent the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road from defaulting on its debts. Board members postponed a vote on the merger last week so they could review an independent report that was expected Friday.
NEWS
February 20, 2004
An article in Sunday's Pilot, "Vote set on toll roads' operations merger," about the proposed merger of operations of the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and the Foothill and Eastern toll roads, should have read that tolls would be collected through 2054 for the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and 2044 for the other two if the merger did not take place. Also, with the merger, the Foothill and Eastern toll roads would be able to stop charging tolls in 2040 or extend them to 2045 to complete the proposed Foothill-South Toll Road.
NEWS
April 9, 2014
A date has been set for the transition away from cash payments on Orange County toll roads. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 14, drivers on the county's toll road system - which includes State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261 - can no longer use dollars and coins to cover their fares. Instead, motorists can use FasTrak transponders or new Express Accounts, which if not prepaid will allow charges to be applied to a credit card or the driver to be billed monthly. A one-time-toll option will also allow drivers to pay online within 48 hours of passing through a toll station.
NEWS
February 20, 2004
Alicia Robinson A long-anticipated consolidation of the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and the Foothill and Eastern toll roads met with another delay on Thursday. Members of the toll roads' governing boards voted to put off until April a decision that would finalize the merging of the toll roads' operations. Officials have been discussing the merger for nearly two years to prevent the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road from defaulting on its debts. They also voted to create a subcommittee to explore financial alternatives to the current merger proposal.
NEWS
March 5, 2004
Alicia Robinson Toll road governing board members may be at an impasse once again since the agency that insures its bonds said it won't back an alternative plan. An ad hoc committee of the toll roads' governing boards on Wednesday discarded six new proposals to bail out the failing San Joaquin Hills Toll Road because the bond insurance agency involved wouldn't back the new plans. On March 17, the committee will look at two versions of an earlier $3.9-billion bond proposal to merge operations of the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and the Foothill and Eastern toll roads.
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NEWS
By Adolfo Flores | April 30, 2014
Firefighters were trying to control a 3-acre wind-driven brush fire Wednesday in Irvine off the southbound lanes of the 241 toll road, authorities said. The fire at the Portola Parkway exit of the toll road was reported at about 1:10 p.m., said Lynette Round, spokeswoman with the Orange County Fire Authority. About 75 firefighters responded to the fire, including two helicopters.   “They're trying to control the fire,” Round said. Homes in the nearby Portola Springs neighborhood didn't appear to be threatened, authorities said.
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NEWS
April 9, 2014
A date has been set for the transition away from cash payments on Orange County toll roads. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 14, drivers on the county's toll road system - which includes State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261 - can no longer use dollars and coins to cover their fares. Instead, motorists can use FasTrak transponders or new Express Accounts, which if not prepaid will allow charges to be applied to a credit card or the driver to be billed monthly. A one-time-toll option will also allow drivers to pay online within 48 hours of passing through a toll station.
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | March 27, 2014
As drivers whizzed north on the San Joaquin Hills (73) toll road Thursday, some veered right toward the cash tollbooths at the Catalina View Mainline Toll Plaza rather than continue through the FasTrak lanes. They discovered that where seven tollbooths once stood sentry, only six remained. Construction crews had removed the center booth earlier that morning in preparation for the toll road - as well as the three others in Orange County - to go cashless. The drivers chose among the other open lanes, shelled out the $6 weekday fee for their cars and continued on their way. Come May, at a specific date still to be determined, traffic will be routed instead through the automated lanes.
OCNOW
By Anh Do | March 20, 2014
Orange County's vast network of toll roads will go cashless this spring, shutting down all of its toll booths and eliminating the need to fish for exact change. Motorists who travel the 51 miles of toll lanes can continue to use the FasTrak passes, which are scanned as drivers pass through toll plazas, or shift to a newly created ExpressAccount. The conversion will affect all of the county's toll roads -- the 73, 133, 241 and the 261 -- starting in May. The new ExpressAccount will operate on a vehicle identification system, with cars' license plates being scanned at toll plazas.
NEWS
By Paloma Esquivel | March 11, 2014
The chief executive for Orange County's toll road agency has agreed to resign after less than one year on the job. Neil Peterson, who was hired in May, was put on administrative leave in February after coming under fire for spending thousands of dollars without public scrutiny, using a provision that allowed him to approve certain contracts without board approval. Lisa Telles, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, declined to say why Peterson decided to resign.
NEWS
By Paloma Esquivel | March 3, 2014
The chief executive officer for Orange County's toll road agency has been put on leave after less than one year on the job, a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed Friday. Neil Peterson had been under fire for spending thousands of dollars without public  scrutiny, using a provision that gave him and the agency's chairwoman authority to sign smaller contracts without the authorization of the Transportation Corridor Agencies' board of directors. The agency oversees the county's extensive toll road system, which includes the 73, 133, 241 and 261 toll roads.
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | January 8, 2014
Drivers exiting Route 73 will not be able to pay tolls with cash beginning in mid-May, authorities expect. The change comes as part of a larger phase-out of cash payments along the 73, 133, 241 and 261 toll roads in Orange County, which began last summer . An exact date for the official conversion of these roads remains to be determined. No more will drivers need to slow down or idle their cars while they wait to slip dollars into the toll machine. Instead, customers will be rerouted away from blockaded toll booths to lanes that will be equipped with new technology.
NEWS
By Anthony Clark Carpio and Bradley Zint | December 10, 2013
ORANGE — The Orange County Transportation Authority on Monday approved new lanes for a portion of the 405 Freeway, a decision that scrapped a hotly contested toll road option that area cities have fought for months. The estimated $1.25-billion project, known as Alternative 1, was one of three proposals to widen a nearly 12-mile stretch of the 405 between the 605 Freeway interchange in Seal Beach and Euclid Street in Fountain Valley. It calls for adding one general-purpose lane in each direction in an attempt to alleviate congestion.
NEWS
By Eric Bever | December 6, 2013
Why is the Orange County Transportation Authority pushing so madly for toll roads on our freeways? Why does OCTA believe toll roads should be paid for with monies duly voted for specific purposes that do not include toll roads? Why is OCTA so strongly motivated to turn freeways into toll roads that it would ignore the very people who pay for everything, the Orange County taxpayers? From whence does OCTA's zeal for this major shift in social policy emanate? More to the point: When did our public agencies become our masters and our elected officials their toadies?
NEWS
By Eric Bever | November 1, 2013
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors will be voting next week on a plan that, if adopted, will misuse billions of tax dollars designated for traffic congestion relief to build toll roads on the 405 Freeway. But that's not all of the misappropriation that is planned. The real plan, as suggested in the July/August 2012 issue of the Auto Club of Southern California's Westways magazine, is to eventually have these toll lanes running throughout the Southland.
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