Blog Archives

The Toll Roads Fans Spread The Love

Facebook Giveaway Main GraphicIn February, we showed our love for our drivers by giving away $50 in free toll credits to four lucky winners.

To be eligible to win, we asked drivers to “Like” The Toll Roads on Facebook and leave a comment on the page explaining what they love most about driving The Toll Roads.

We received more than one thousand entries and were overjoyed reading the comments.

One driver shared that she’s been driving the 241 Toll Road every day for the past 10 years to avoid traffic on her commute. While The Toll Roads save her time, what she loves most about her drive is the view. In spring, the hills are green and flowers are growing and in the winter the mountain tops in the distance are covered in snow. In her day-to day-routine of city life, she told us her daily view of nature relaxes her and it’s what she loves most about her drive every morning.

We received many comments from drivers sharing how The Toll Roads help them get to their destination on time with less stress and home to their families quicker at the end of a long day. The heart below displays the words used most in the responses we received.

Love Your Drive Word Cloud

Drivers also said:

  • “I love the fact that it gets me to my grandkids faster. I spend less time on the road and get more time with them.”
  • “Light traffic, and the view of Catalina Island from the 73 can’t be beat!”
  • “I love it when I work longer than usual and get stuck right at the worst traffic times, then that feeling you get when you can hop on The Toll Road and breeze on through.”
  • “There’s nothing like arriving home on a Friday evening in a stress free, relaxed mood after a long week of work!”

 

Thank you to all of our drivers who entered. We work hard everyday to ensure that you love your drive.

Adorable 5-Year Old Enjoys The Drive

Enjoy the DriveThe Toll Roads of Orange County recently launched a new creative campaign, “Enjoy the Drive,” that highlights the reasons people drive The Toll Roads – a stress-free drive on open roads and predictable commutes.

With more than 735,000 FasTrak® and ExpressAccount® customers, there is sure to be many more reasons to Enjoy The Drive. Anticipation of hearing the FasTrak transponder beep? Not seeing any red tail lights? Or how about counting down the numbered exits to your favorite destination?

Sebs_5th_Bday_2Meet Sebastian – a just-turned-5-year old from Newport Beach who loves all things transportation – roads, bridges, signs, toll plazas and the 73 Toll Road.

As Sebastian’s fifth birthday approached, his mom, Briana Vartanian, asked him what theme he wanted and his answer came as no surprise – at least not to his family – The Toll Roads.

As mom puts it, Sebastian is fascinated with engineering and he fell in love with the 73 Toll Road when he started preschool last year at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano. As a FasTrak accountholder for 12 years, the 73 Toll Road was a no-brainer for their daily commute to and from school.

IMG_5357Driving the 73 Toll Road multiple times a day, five days a week, Sebastian grew to learn, familiarize and literally Enjoy The Drive on The Toll Roads. He’s studied the map, locations of ramps and toll plazas, and with his stop watch, tracks how long it takes to get to and from school and compares the data from day to day. And if you ask Sebastian which exit is his favorite; well number 12 of course, because that’s where he takes his golf lessons.

As the party planning began, TCA’s Communications department received one of its most unique calls to-date – party favors for a toll road themed birthday party. We were happy to participate and thrilled someone outside the office shares a passion for the roads as much as staff. We sent a handful of giveaways and favors and could hardly wait to see the party’s pictures.

IMG_5326Briana spent two months planning Sebastian’s transportation and highway themed birthday party creating custom cupcake toppers with The Toll Roads logo and center pieces highlighting each Toll Road in Orange County. She also hired a balloon artist to create a custom arch – or pseudo toll plaza – complete with The Toll Roads signs overhead. The icing on the cake, all of Sebastian’s friends painted their own version of the Interstate 5 highway sign because Sebastian was turning five, just like the I-5.

Sebastian’s enthusiasm for The Toll Roads gives us at The Transportation Corridor Agencies reason to smile. We realize our 51-miles of open road don’t just offer you nonstop driving, it provides you a choice to get home to your family faster, be the first to arrive to work on a Monday morning, and simply, Enjoy The Drive.

Tell us how you Enjoy The Drive in the comment section below and check out our Enjoy The Drive campaign’s video. Happy Birthday, Sebastian, and cheers to many more happy moments on The Toll Roads of Orange County!

Sebs_5th_Bday_1

$1.4 Billion Refinancing Improves Long-Term Debt Structure for 73 Toll Road

TCA Spring 2011The San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency has successfully refinanced $1.4 billion of its $2.2 billion in outstanding debt issued to fund construction of the 73 Toll Road.

“This is great news for drivers and the communities that surround the 73 Toll Road,” said Scott Schoeffel, Chairman of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency, the joint powers authority responsible for financing the 73 Toll Road. “Refinancing improves the agency’s long-term financial health by lowering the annual debt service payments and improving financial flexibility.”

The bond issue was well received by the market with $2.5 billion in orders for a bond issue sized at $1.4 billion reflecting the 73 toll road’s performance, rating upgrade and confidence in the credit profile.

By taking advantage of the current low interest rates, and selling bonds with a nominal maturity of 2050 compared to the current 2042, the annual debt service growth is reduced from 8.8 to 1.7 percent over the next ten years. The interest rate on the restructured bonds averages 4.74 percent. The previous average was 5.72 percent – a reduction of nearly 100 basis points.

5809896002_b3709940fd_z“The combination of low interest rates, improved credit rating, and strong investor response resulted in a net present value savings of $44 million,” said Amy Potter, Chief Financial Officer for the Transportation Corridor Agencies.

“With this new long-term sustainable debt structure and conservative growth outlook for the 73 Toll Road, the agency will have greater financial flexibility moving forward which may allow the agency to moderate future toll rate increases, withstand economic downturns and potentially pay off the debt ahead of the 2050 final maturity date,” said Michael Kraman, Chief Executive Officer for the Transportation Corridor Agencies.

The sale is scheduled to close in early November and consisted of:

  • $1.1 billion in tax-exempt Senior Lien Current Interest Toll Road Revenue Bonds, with a 1.3-times coverage ratio requirement.

  • $300 million in tax-exempt Current Interest Junior Lien Toll Road Refunding Revenue Bonds, with a 1.1-times coverage ratio requirement.

Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have rated the agency’s Senior Lien Bonds BBB- and the Junior Lien Bonds BB+. Both ratings are higher than the agency’s previous ratings.

FREE COMMUNITY EXPO THIS SATURDAY!

Coyote_Canyon_Flyer

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO PAY WITH CASH ON THE TOLL ROADS

Beginning Wednesday, May 14 at 12:01 a.m., cash toll collection will cease on The Toll Roads in Orange County, making travel faster and more convenient for the more than 250,000 weekday commuters who choose The Toll Roads.

“Tuesday will be the final day to pay with cash on The Toll Roads,” said Lisa Bartlett, chairwoman of the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency. “The removal of cash tolls is a trend throughout the tolling industry and we’ve surveyed our cash customers to provide new electronic payment options that will work for them.”

Cars at 73 Toll Booths

In January, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), which operates The Toll Roads, introduced four new ways to pay tolls to replace cash toll collection. Along with the hugely-popular FasTrak® payment method, the three new ExpressAccount™ types and the new One-Time-Toll™ option make the drive on The Toll Roads fast and convenient.

More than 82 percent of transactions are already paid electronically using a FasTrak or ExpressAccount, while 13 percent are cash transactions.

“We want all customers to experience the benefits of a free-flowing drive that our FasTrak and ExpressAccount customers enjoy,” said Rush Hill, chairman of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency. “If they haven’t signed up for a FasTrak or ExpressAccount, now is the time to ensure you always have options.”

Tomorrow is also the final day of work for toll attendants, who have worked at the Toll Roads toll plazas since the first plaza opened in 1993. All toll personnel (toll attendants, lead toll attendants, managers, assistant managers, etc.) are contract employees of Central Parking System, the largest parking management firm in the country, operating approximately 700 parking locations in Orange and Los Angeles counties alone. CPS will seek to find alternate employment options for these employees in other company positions in Southern California.

“We honor the service they’ve provided our customers and they have been part of the success of The Toll Roads,” said Chairman Hill.

WHERE WILL THE TOLL ROADS TAKE YOU THIS WEEKEND?

Don’t have plans for this weekend?  Take the 73 Toll Road to one of these great events…

 

1010711_10152310122714029_4791705516170350084_nNewport Beach Film Festival, Newport Beach

April 24 – May 1

newportbeachfilmfest.com

The Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. The Festival focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of both studio and independent films. This year’s festival features Lovesick, A Five Star Life and Jon Favreau’s Chef.

 

girl2California Wine Festival Orange County, Dana Point

April 25 – 26

californiawinefestival.com

Experience quintessential California wine tasting and enjoy hundreds of the state’s finest vintage wines, delicious gourmet foods samples and lively music. Discover new wines, find a new favorite and pair it with a variety of fresh gourmet appetizers like artisan breads, cheeses, olive oils and so much more. Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited fun, food and music at the biggest wine festival under the sun.

 

13Spring Garden Show at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa

April 24 – 27

southcoastplaza.com

South Coast Plaza’s Annual Southern California Spring Garden Show transforms South Coast Plaza into a gardening oasis that showcases a diverse and outstanding selection of unusual and exotic plants, garden tools, garden ornaments and art, display gardens and children’s programs. This year’s show features, an informative speaker series and appearance by John Gidding, architect, interior designer and HGTV’s Curb Appeal co-host.

 

And, save the date for our upcoming event right off the 73 Toll Road…

Free Community Expo, Coyote Canyon, Newport Beach

May 17, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

https://www.thetollroads.com/assets/objects/45/Coyote_Canyon_Flyer.pdf

CoyoteCanyon2The Toll Roads are joining with the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach and other partners to host a free, family-friendly public expo to celebrate two decades of environmental excellence. The expo is open to all and includes fun educational booths and discussions on the science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) used to operate this landfill during its post-closure process, including multi-use designs for gas recovery and native habitat restoration.

Directions: From State Route 73: Exit Newport Coast Drive and head south past Sage Hill High School. Turn right at the traffic signal to arrive at the destination.   From Pacific Coast Highway: Take PCH to Newport Coast Drive and make a legal U-turn at Turtle Crest Drive. Pass Sage Hill High School and make a right at the traffic signal to arrive at the destination.

 

 

Toll Booths Removed From 73 Toll Road

This week, two iconic tolls booths were removed from the 73 Toll Road’s Catalina View Mainline Toll Plaza in preparation for the end of cash toll collection on The Toll Roads (State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261).

TCA SR-73 toll booth 3

Construction crews used a 40-ton crane with a 94-foot reach to dismantle and remove one toll booth from the southbound 73 Toll Road on Wednesday morning and one toll booth from the northbound 73 Toll Road on Thursday morning. Combined, the toll booths (which measure nearly 19 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 11 feet long) have processed more than 10 million cash transactions since they were opened in 1996.

TCA%20SR-73%20toll%20booth%207

With the removal of a single toll booth in each direction, two current cash payment lanes will be combined into one wider lane that will be used by trucks when cash toll collection ends on The Toll Roads in May.

TCA%20SR-73%20toll%20booth%2024

For more information on the removal of cash toll collection from The Toll Roads, click here.