Blog Archives

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

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.

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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.

FOOTHILL/EASTERN TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR AGENCY REFINANCES $2.3 BILLION IN BONDS

The Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) has successfully refinanced $2.3 billion in outstanding debt that was originally issued in 1999.

“This is great news for Southern California drivers,” said Lisa Bartlett, F/ETCA Chairwoman and Mayor for the City of Dana Point.  “The refinancing enhances the agency’s financial position so that we can concentrate on providing and improving mobility.  We’ve lowered annual debt payments, which will provide pricing flexibility and cash flow for important projects.”

TCA Spring 2011The refinancing extends F/ETCA debt from 2040 to 2053, lowers annual payments through 2040 and reduces maximum annual debt payment by 24 percent.  The bonds are being structured with various call dates and will be eligible for early redemption with excess revenue if the agency’s Board of Directors chooses to do so, thereby shortening the final maturity date and eliminating the need to make additional interest payments.

“The bond refinancing reduces debt payments by $975 million between now and 2040 and will create a flexible financing structure.  The restructuring of the debt keeps the agency in a very strong financial position and allows The Tolls Roads to continue to provide a valuable choice for Orange County residents and commuters,” said Patricia Bates, F/ETCA Vice Chairwoman and Orange County Fifth District Supervisor.

Traffic and revenue on the 36-mile toll road network has been growing with Orange County’s regional economic recovery.  For the first five months of the fiscal year (July thru December), traffic has increased two percent compared to the similar period in 2012 and revenue is up seven percent.

“The restructuring brings the agency’s debt in line with current revenue projections and strengthens our financial outlook,” said Amy Potter, CFO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA).  “The Board of Directors had authorized up to a 6.5 percent interest rate for the bonds, and the final result was 6.06 percent.  The annual growth rate for the bonds has been reduced from 4.2 percent to 3.75 percent and the peak debt service has been reduced by $74 million.”

TCA Spring 2011In October, the F/ETCA Board of Directors approved the refinancing of its outstanding bonds and amendments to a cooperative agreement between the F/ETCA and Caltrans that allows tolls to be collected through 2053.  The following month, the F/ETCA received investment grade ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings on its update to the proposed refinancing of the 1999 bonds.  With two ratings, the agency was able to move forward with the refinancing.

Standard and Poor’s noted that revenues have responded well to recent toll increases, that the willingness to increase tolls by management is a positive credit factor and that the restructuring plan reduces maximum annual debt service by $30 million (actual reduction is $72 million).  Fitch Ratings acknowledged that extending the debt by 13 years provides a more stable financial profile and that a history of pro-active decisions by management to raise rates is a credit strength.

“The 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads provide a valuable link to the population centers in the Southern California region – which is the second largest metropolitan area in the country.  It’s a link to a burgeoning economic and employment center that is located in Orange County,” said Neil Peterson, TCA’s CEO.  “We are providing a valuable and affordable service to the people who are coming in and out of Orange County to get to those jobs.  Our board has a 13-year history of stepping up to the plate and meeting their financial obligations. Our toll revenues and our transactions have recovered strongly from The Great Recession and in the last three years have seen a steady increase. The refinancing provides cash flow savings to us between now and 2040, reduces the increase of our debt service requirements, lowers our maximum annual debt service, allows us a greater margin to exceed our coverage requirements of net toll revenues going forward.”

“The experience that we offer our customers is a choice of a predictable trip that saves time and stress,” said Peterson.  “The F/ETCA Board of Directors, finance team and staff are commended for the work they have put into making this refinancing a reality.”

TCA Switchable Transponders Now Available

Switchable TransponderTo meet the needs of The Toll Roads FasTrak accountholders who use FasTrak® to pay tolls outside of Orange County, we are now offering switchable FasTrak transponders.  Switchable transponders can be manually set to indicate the number of occupants in the vehicle and are needed by qualifying carpools to receive a discount or drive toll-free on the new I-10 and I-110 ExpressLanes in Los Angeles. 

An existing FasTrak accountholder may exchange a standard transponder for a switchable transponder by submitting a request through TheTollRoads.com, visiting the Irvine Service Center or phoning the call center at 949-727-4800.

A FasTrak transponder is mandatory to drive the I-10 and I-110 ExpressLanes.  Drivers who use a standard FasTrak transponder will be charged the full toll whether or not they are carpooling.  A switchable transponder is needed to get the discount for qualifying carpools.

ExpressLanes_300x150On the I-110 ExpressLanes, carpools with two or more people, vanpools and motorcycles travel toll-free.  On the I-10 ExpressLanes, carpools with three or more people, vanpools and motorcycles travel toll-free.  Solo drivers can choose to use the I-10 and I-110 ExpressLanes for a toll.  All vehicles, regardless of the number of occupants, must have a FasTrak transponder mounted to the windshield per state law in order to drive in the ExpressLanes.

LA Metro, the operator of the ExpressLanes, also issues switchable transponders.  Metro ExpressLanes is a pilot, one-year demonstration program to improve traffic flow and provide enhanced travel options by converting High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes.  Click here to visit the Metro ExpressLanes website to learn more.

The Toll Roads’ switchable transponders can also be used to pay tolls electronically on any tolled road, lane and bridge in California.