Blog Archives

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.

 

 

RED FLAG WARNING ISSUED FOR ORANGE COUNTY

CMS WordingOrange County is currently experiencing Red Flag conditions, meaning that fire danger is high.  When fire danger is high, like it is today, The Toll Roads take a proactive approach to preventing wildfires through education and encouraged vigilance. 

Keep the following motorist safety tips in mind during Red Flag conditions:

DON’T PULL OVER:  Don’t pull over to the side of the road unless absolutely necessary, especially onto dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you won’t see, until it’s too late!

DON’T SMOKE:  Don’t smoke when driving and never throw a lit cigarette or burning match out of a car.

NO SPARKS:  Sparks from dragging equipment on vehicles or faulty catalytic converters, especially on older trucks on uphill grades, ignite fires. Make vehicle safety upgrades as needed.

REPORT:  Keep a cell phone nearby and call 911 immediately in case of a fire. Many wildland fires are caused by arson.  Report suspicious activity to the OC Fire Authority Arson Tip Line at 1-800-540-8282.

Planter Sign PhotoOn The Toll Roads, during Red Flag conditions, changeable message signs and special toll plaza planter signs carry a warning.  We also provide the above motorist tips for fire safety and prevention via our blog, website, Facebook and Twitter.

We do all of this because we are part OC Fire Watch. Led by Orange County’s Fifth District Supervisor Patricia C. Bates, the Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Parks, OC Fire Watch is a countywide program to alert the public when fire dangers are elevated.

More information on OC Fire Watch, including how residents can get involved in the program, can be found at www.OCFireWatch.org.

We’re Hiring: Associate Graphic Designer

If you like driving The Toll Roads, imagine how much you’ll enjoy working for The Toll Roads. 

We’re hiring an Associate Graphic Designer.

The Transportation Corridor Agencies, operator of California’s largest toll road network, has an opening for an experienced, fullt-time associate graphic designer to support the graphic designer/webmaster in meeting the agencies’ graphic, printing, website maintenance and production, email marketing and presentation needs.

Required is a thorough knowledge of graphic design principals and methods for both electronic and traditional production using Illustrator, In Design, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Content Management System (CMS) platforms and all Microsoft Office software. Some video editing skills a plus.

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a closely related field and approximately two to three years of experience is also required. The salary range is $55,047 – $79,818.

The deadline for submittal is March 14, 2014.  For consideration please e-mail your resume to recruit@thetollroads.com or mail to:

Human Resources
Transportation Corridor Agencies
125 Pacifica, Suite 100, Irvine, CA  92618-3304
EOE/V/F/M
www.thetollroads.com

FasTrak Drivers: Keep On Keeping On

FasTrak Video ScreenshotIn anticipation of the removal of cash toll collection from The Toll Roads in May, last month we introduced four new ways to pay – three ExpressAccount™ types and a One-Time-Toll™ option. 

What do these changes mean for FasTrak® Drivers?  Nothing.  What do FasTrak accountholders need to do now that there are ExpressAccounts?  Nothing.

  • Keep your FasTrak transponder affixed to your vehicle’s windshield.
  • Keep driving in the FasTrak lanes.
  • Keep paying the lowest tolls (on average 20 percent less than ExpressAccount and One-Time-Toll tolls).
  • Keep replenishing your prepaid FasTrak account using credit card, cash or check.
  • Keep using your FasTrak transponder to pay tolls electronically on ALL tolled bridges, lanes and roads in California (including the 91 Express Lanes).
  • Keep easily managing your FasTrak account online or with The Toll Roads’ free app.

For years roughly 80 percent of our drivers have paid tolls with FasTrak; last month 83 percent used FasTrak.  As we move toward removing cash payment on the roadways, less and less drivers are using cash to pay.  Last month less than 13 percent paid with cash; six months ago nearly 16 percent used cash.

Also last month, we introduced the three new ExpressAccount types and people immediately started signing up for the account type that best fits their needs.  FasTrak drivers now share their lanes with ExpressAccount drivers.  Lower tolls are deducted from a FasTrak account via a vehicle’s transponder and higher tolls are deducted from an ExpessAccount via an image of the vehicle’s license plate.   

Do you have a question about FasTrak, ExpressAccounts, One-Time-Toll or The Toll Roads?  If so, leave it below as a comment.

THE TOLL ROADS APP UPDATE FEATURES MORE WAYS TO PAY TOLLS

App in phoneWe’ve released version 2.0 of The Toll Roads’ award-winning app to make paying tolls more convenient. The version’s new functions will make driving The Toll Roads easier after cash toll collection is removed from the roads in May 2014.

The app’s latest update allows customers to sign up for and manage one of the three new ExpressAccount™ types and/or use the new One-Time-Toll™ payment option from their device.  The app continues to allow users to sign up for and manage a FasTrak account.

The app can be downloaded from the Apple App or Google Play Stores by typing “FasTrak” or “The Toll Roads” in the search function.

“The Toll Roads continually seek ways to make our customers’ experience fast, reliable and convenient,” said Neil Peterson, CEO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), which operates The Toll Roads. “This latest app upgrade is another innovative way to improve our customer service.”

Customers with a FasTrak or ExpressAccount may use the app’s account management features to:

  • View account balances
  • Make payments
  • Edit account information
  • Add or remove vehicles, including rental and loaner vehicles
  • Request additional FasTrak transponders
  • Review recent activity

TCA was the first toll road operator in the nation to offer an app for toll account management. Since its original release in May 2012, nearly 100,000 customers have downloaded a version of The Toll Roads app.

To learn more about the app, click here.

To learn more about the five ways to pay tolls incurred on The Toll Roads, click here.

WHO WANTS $30 IN FREE TOLLS?

11936738115_2dc5056bd8Drivers on the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads in Orange County can get $30 in free tolls if they open a new FasTrak® or ExpressAccount™ on or before March 31.  FasTrak and ExpressAccounts are the fast and convenient ways to pay tolls electronically on The Toll Roads while traveling at highway speeds.

To receive the $30 in free tolls, use promo code FLYER30 when establishing a new account via thetollroads.com or The Toll Roads app, which is available in the Apple App and Google Play Stores.

“We want new customers to know that it pays to be first when you sign up for an ExpressAccount or FasTrak,” said Lisa Telles, The Toll Roads’ chief communications officer. “We’ll be removing cash toll collection soon and $30 in free tolls is a great way to see firsthand how fast and convenient it is to drive The Toll Roads.”

The Toll Roads introduced three new ExpressAccount types last month to give cash-paying customers more choices for how to pay tolls without stopping at toll plazas.  TCA will remove all cash toll collection from The Toll Roads in May. Customers can now pay using a FasTrak, an ExpressAccount or the new One-Time-Toll option that is available at thetollroads.com.

To learn more about the five ways to pay tolls on The Toll Roads, click here.

STATE ROUTE 241 WILDLIFE FENCE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Fence and RoadThe Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency will soon install new wildlife fencing along portions of the 241 Toll Road.  The new fencing and associated wildlife escape ramps are being implemented to reduce the number of animal-to-vehicle collisions and safely direct wildlife to the existing undercrossings.  The new fence will be placed closer to the edge of roadway and will be upwards of 12 feet in height to prevent animals from climbing over and onto roadway.  

The project is a result of a collaborative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of California, Davis Wildlife Health Center and other stakeholders.  

The first phase of the wildlife fencing project will be complete by June 2014, with future phases to be implemented over the next few years pending budget approval. Upon completion of the fence installation, the F/ETCA will monitor and document its effectiveness in reducing collisions and increasing usage of existing undercrossings.  The data obtained post-project will serve as a model for other transportation projects.

VIDEOS EXPLAIN BIG CHANGES HAPPENING ON THE TOLL ROADS

Hopefully you’ve heard that cash toll collection is being removed from The Toll Roads in May.  We’ve created a few videos explaining the changes that are happening on the roads.

This video is an introduction to all-electronic tolling on The Toll Roads.  Although we are removing one method of payment (cash), there are now five ways to pay on The Toll Roads.

Watch this video to learn about the three new ExpressAccount types.  With an ExpressAccount, photos of a vehicle’s license plate are used to record transactions and tolls can be charged to a credit card that evening, withdrawn from a prefunded account or invoiced once per month.

Finally, this video explains the new One-Time-Toll payment option, which was created specifically for area visitors and infrequent users of The Toll Roads.  There is no account setup and no transponder, simply drive The Toll Roads and, within 48 hours after your trip, go online or use our free app to pay tolls.

And, remember, for FasTrak drivers the conversion to all-electronic toll collection will be seamless and uneventful.  FasTrak accountholders don’t have to make any changes to their accounts with the conversion.

MORE FROM EXPRESSACCOUNT PRESS CONFERENCE

Last week, The Toll Roads introduced new payment options to the public at a press conference attended by board members, elected officials, community leaders, stakeholders, drivers and the media.

Watch this video recap of the event.  It’s full of information about the three new ExpressAccount types and the new One-Time-Toll payment option.

In May, cash toll collection will be removed from The Toll Roads.  Now, with five ways to pay tolls (FasTrak®, three new ExpressAccount choices and a One-Time-Toll option) there’s a custom payment method that will work for every driver – regardless of their method of payment, when they want to pay their toll and how much of California they intend to explore.

Customers with FasTrak, which uses transponder technology affixed to a vehicle’s windshield, will continue to pay the lowest tolls and may be used on all toll roads, lanes and bridges throughout California.  FasTrak customers won’t have to make any changes to their accounts when cash collection ceases on The Toll Roads.

NEW EXPRESSACCOUNTS LAUNCHED AT PRESS CONFERENCE

Yesterday, The Toll Roads introduced three new ExpressAccount payment options to the public at a press conference attended by board members, elected officials, community leaders, stakeholders, drivers and the media.

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 12.49.30 PM

In May, cash toll collection will be removed from The Toll Roads.  While we are removing one method of payment, we are introducing four new ways to pay.  Three of those are called ExpressAccounts.

The New ExpressAccounts – New Ways to Pay Tolls Without Stopping

With the new, transponder-free ExpressAccounts, images of a vehicle’s license plate taken on The Toll Roads are linked to an account and the appropriate toll is collected.  When customers sign up for an ExpressAccount, they may choose one of three payment options:

  • Prepaid – Customers open an account with a prepaid balance and tolls are deducted from the amount whenever they use The Toll Roads.
  • Charge – At the end of each day, customer’s tolls are charged to the credit card on file for each trip on The Toll Roads.
  • Invoice – Customers are sent an invoice at the close of the month for tolls incurred that month; no need to use a credit card or link to a bank account. This account type includes an invoice fee.

ExpressAccounts can only be used on The Toll Roads (State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261) and the toll is on average 20 percent higher than the toll paid by a FasTrak customer.

The fourth new way to pay tolls is called One-Time-Toll.

One-Time-Toll: For Visitors and Infrequent Users

A payment option has been designed for infrequent toll road drivers and visitors. “One-Time-Toll” allows out-of-town guests and tourists to use The Toll Roads without establishing an ExpressAccount or a FasTrak account. These customers may use The Toll Roads at their convenience and pay their tolls within 48 hours after driving the roads in two convenient ways: 1) visit http://www.thetollroads.com to pay online or 2) download The Toll Roads mobile app and pay easily from their mobile device. The mobile app for One-Time-Toll will be available on Feb. 1, 2014.

Already 81 percent of the daily trips on The Toll Roads are paid electronically with FasTrak®, the transponder-based electronic toll collection system used by tolling agencies throughout the state of California.  Currently, 16 percent are cash transactions.  When asked, cash customers say they would like a variety of ways to pay tolls and a nonstop, stress-free experience on The Toll Roads.

FasTrak: Still Lowest Tolls

Customers with FasTrak, which uses transponder technology affixed to a vehicle’s windshield, will continue to pay the lowest tolls and may be used on all toll roads, lanes and bridges throughout California.  FasTrak customers won’t have to make any changes to their accounts when cash collection ceases on The Toll Roads.