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The Toll Roads Update: All-Electronic Toll Collection

IMG_9176_WebWe’ve implemented a program to help drivers transition to all-electronic toll collection, which went into effect on May 14 when cash toll collection was removed from The Toll Roads (State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261).

Through Labor Day, The Toll Roads are waiving penalty fees for first-time violators.  First-time violators will receive a notice of toll evasion in the mail with instructions for how to pay the toll online, without having to pay penalty.  The toll must be paid online within 30 days of receiving the notice of toll evasion.

Violators are drivers who use The Toll Roads without making an attempt to pay their toll(s).  Everyday 250,000 people drive The Toll Roads – and most of them pay their tolls with FasTrak or an ExpressAccount.

IMG_9164_WebFor infrequent trips, the One-Time-Toll payment option allows drivers to use The Toll Roads without an account and pay the toll online at thetollroads.com or via The Toll Roads’ free app within 48 hours after using the roads to avoid a violation.

To help all drivers transition to all-electronic toll collection, The Toll Roads have hired 10 additional customer service representatives to work in the Customer Call Center.  With 14 customer service representatives added to the call center before May 14, there will soon be a total of 54 representatives helping customers in four languages.

Out on the roads, 236 new signs were posted with the conversion to cash-less tolling — of those, 111 are for One-Time-Toll drivers.  Additional signs are being added and will include flashing lights to better alert drivers to changes and how to pay tolls.

THERE’S NO MORE STOPPING TO PAY TOLLS ON THE TOLL ROADS

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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.

RAMP DETOUR NOTICE: NB 241 TOLL ROAD AT PORTOLA PKWY-IRVINE

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TIME IS TICKING: OPEN FASTRAK OR EXPRESSACCOUNT BEFORE CASH TOLL COLLECTION STOPS

In just six days cash toll collection will cease on The Toll Roads.  Are you ready?  If you have FasTrak® or AN ExpressAccount™ the answer is yes.

If you currently pay with cash when you drive State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261, now is the time to decide how you will pay after 12:01 a.m. on May 14.

There are five ways to pay tolls on The Toll Roads: FasTrak, three new ExpressAccount types and the new One-Time-Toll option.  Click here for information about the different account options and to learn which one is right for you.

TCA is offering new FasTrak and ExpressAccount customers a free week of nonstop driving as soon as they establish an account at thetollroads.com (PROMO CODE: FREETOLL). The offer ends May 11.

Will you join the 450,336 people who have a FasTrak account or the 69,619 who have an ExpressAccount?

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SIGNS ON THE TOLL ROADS ARE GOING PURPLE

IMG_0344%20%28Small%29In anticipation of The Toll Roads removing cash toll collection on May 14 at 12:01 a.m., 121 new signs are being installed on the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads.

The new signs are purple, which is the color increasingly being used by tolling agencies across the nation to indicate that a road and/or lanes are tolled electronically.

The move to purple signage for all-electronic toll lanes started in 1991 in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.  In 2008, the Federal Highway Administration officially supported the use of the color purple for electronic toll collection signs to facilitate smooth vehicle flow and eliminate driver confusion.

IMG_0339%20%28Small%29The new signs on The Toll Roads indicate that all drivers now use the former “FasTrak® Only” lanes.  The appropriate tolls will be deducted from the FasTrak or ExpressAccount™ (charge, prepaid or invoice) the vehicle is registered to.  If the driver does not have an account, they can use TheTollRoads.com or our free app to pay a One-Time-Toll™ within 48 hours after the trip.

The new One-Time-Toll signs have a blue background indicative of informational road signs and display our website where users can go to pay One-Time-Toll. Of the 121 new signs, 32 are One-Time-Toll signs.

Drivers who fail to pay a toll using one of the five, abovementioned options will receive a violation notice.

The signs will continue to be installed at night over the next several weeks.

OTT-SB241-Tomato_Springs-20140415In January, The Toll Roads introduced more ways to pay tolls to replace cash toll collection. Along with the hugely-popular FasTrak payment method, the three new ExpressAccount types make the drive on The Toll Roads fast and convenient — and most importantly — nonstop. With FasTrak and ExpressAccounts, all tolls are collected electronically while motorists travel at highway speeds.

For more information about the different account options and which one is right for you, please visit thetollroads.com. An ExpressAccount 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.

NEW CUSTOMERS ENJOY ONE FREE WEEK ON THE TOLL ROADS

Haven’t experienced a nonstop, stress-free commute in Orange County in a while? Now’s the perfect time to give The Toll Roads a try for an entire week — for free.

“We want every motorist in Orange County to experience what 250,000 weekday drivers already know — there’s no stop and go on The Toll Roads when you have FasTrak® or an ExpressAccount™,” said Lisa Telles, The Toll Roads’ chief communications officer.

In anticipation of The Toll Roads removing cash toll collection on May 14 at 12:01 a.m., TCA is offering new FasTrak and ExpressAccount customers a free week of nonstop driving as soon as they establish an account at thetollroads.com (PROMO CODE: FREETOLL). The offer ends May 11.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 4.20.39 PM

In January, The Toll Roads introduced more ways to pay tolls to replace cash toll collection. Along with the hugely-popular FasTrak payment method, the three new ExpressAccount types make the drive on The Toll Roads fast and convenient — and most importantly — nonstop. With FasTrak and ExpressAccount, all tolls are collected electronically while motorists travel at highway speeds.

For more information about the different account options and which one is right for you, please visit thetollroads.com. An ExpressAccount 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.

CASH TOLL COLLECTION ENDS MAY 14 AT 12:01 A.M.

May 13 is the last day to pay with cash on The Toll Roads (State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261). Cash toll collection will cease on the roadways on Wednesday, May 14, at 12:01 a.m.

Visit TheTollRoads.com to see our new clock counting down the days until cash toll collection is removed.

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“This is an exciting time for our Toll Road customers,” said Lisa Bartlett, chairwoman of the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency. “We’re saying good-bye to cash, but we’re welcoming fast, more convenient ways for customers to pay their tolls.”

“We’re seeing the end of an era, but The Toll Roads are definitely riding the wave of change. Paying cash for most things today is quickly becoming obsolete,” said Rush Hill, chairman of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency. “With our new nonstop system, gone will be the need to stop at toll plazas and fumble around for exact change.”

In January, 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 every trip on The Toll Roads fast and convenient.

Click here for more information about the different account options and which one is right for you. An ExpressAccount can only be used on The Toll Roads (SRs 73, 133, 241 and 261) and the toll is, on average, 20 percent higher than the toll paid by a FasTrak customer.

 

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.

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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.

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

GOT QUESTIONS? THE TOLL ROADS HAVE ANSWERS

video-driveAs The Toll Roads prepare to remove cash toll collection from the roadway in May, new and long-time customers also are preparing for the change.

Below are the most commonly-asked questions from customers via The Toll Roads’ social media (Facebook and Twitter), website and customer call center.

 

Q.        I’ve signed up for an ExpressAccount, now what do I do?  What lane do I use?

A.         Once you’ve signed up for an ExpressAccount, you may immediately use it on The Toll Roads, driving in the lanes marked “FasTrak” and avoiding the need to stop at toll plazas.

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. ExpressAccount customers may choose one of three payment options: prepaid, charge or invoice accounts.

Remember, ExpressAccount only works on The Toll Roads in Orange County (SRs 73, 133, 241 and 261). To travel on other tolled bridges, lanes and roads in California —  including the 91 Express Lanes —  you must have a FasTrak account.

 

Q.        Do I have to switch from FasTrak to one of the new ExpressAccounts?

A.         No. FasTrak customers don’t need to make any changes with the introduction of the new ExpressAccounts. FasTrak is still the preferred way to pay tolls electronically because tolls, on average, are 20 percent lower and FasTrak may be used on all tolled bridges, lanes and roads in California, including the 91 Express Lanes and the LA Metro ExpressLanes. ExpressAccounts use license plate tolling technology and are designed for customers who only use The Toll Roads and use them infrequently.

 

Q.        I have a FasTrak account. With license plate tolling, can I drive without my transponder?

A.         If you choose to remain a FasTrak customer, you must keep your transponder mounted to your vehicle’s windshield.  This ensures that you are charged the reduced FasTrak toll.

If you choose to switch to an ExpressAccount, which uses images of your license plates to collect tolls and may only be used on the 73, 133, 241 and 261, then you must return your transponder to The Toll Roads and transfer from FasTrak to an ExpressAccount. Please call the customer service center at (949) 727-4800 or visit our walk-in centers in Irvine or San Clemente to process this transaction.

 

Q.        What are the lights I see now flashing at the toll plaza when I drive through? 

A.         Proven state-of-the-art tolling equipment is being installed at every tolling location in preparation for the removal of cash toll collection in May. The equipment supports FasTrak and the three new ExpressAccount types.

Drivers will notice that the lights on overhead gantries have already changed.  Because the ExpressAccount payments use license plate numbers – instead of FasTrak transponders – to collect tolls, each vehicle’s front and back license plates must now be illuminated so that a photo can be taken.

Formerly, only black and white photos were taken of license plates using infrared lighting to identify vehicles that did not pay the toll.  Now, color images with a greater level of detail are required. These photos ensure that the correct license plate is linked to the corresponding ExpressAccount.  The lights are the same type used on police cars, ambulances and fire trucks around the country as they share the roadway with other drivers.  At The Toll Roads’ tolling locations, the light produces a safe, momentary 200 microsecond flash.

 

Q.        I signed up for an ExpressAccount with the “charge” option. When and how will I see toll charges on my credit card?

A.         With the new ExpressAccount options, customers may choose three ways to pay:

  • Charge – At the end of each day, customers’ tolls are processed to the credit card on file for each trip on The Toll Roads. You may see a transaction that evening or soon thereafter, depending on your bank.
  • Prepaid – Customers open an account with a prepaid balance and tolls are deducted from the amount whenever they use 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 a bank account to your account. This account type includes an invoice fee.     

 

Q.        When is the last day The Toll Roads will be accepting cash on the roads?

A.         Cash toll collection will end in May 2014.TCA is currently working on a final schedule for completing the installation of the new technology and posting new signage on the roads.  An exact date in May for the final day of cash collection will be announced as soon as a date is finalized.

 

Q.        How will tourists and out-of-town guests use The Toll Roads without cash toll collection?

A.         The Toll Roads have also introduced One-Time-Toll, a payment option designed for infrequent toll road drivers and visitors. They may use The Toll Roads at their convenience and pay their tolls within 48 hours after their trip at TheTollRoads.com or via our free app—all without the need to establish an ExpressAccount or a FasTrak account. The app is available for download by accessing the Apple App Store or Google Play Store from a device and, then, typing in “FasTrak” or “The Toll Roads” in the search function.