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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.


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.

NEW LIGHTS INSTALLED AT TOLLING LOCATIONS

ENP_4583As The Toll Roads work toward the May removal of cash toll collection on State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261, proven state-of-the-art tolling equipment is being installed at every tolling location on the 51 miles of roadway.  The equipment supports FasTrak and the three new ExpressAccount payment types introduced in January.

So far, this equipment has been installed at the Irvine Ranch (SR 261), Tomato Springs (SR 241), Orange Grove (SR 133) and Catalina View (SR 73) Mainline Toll Plazas.  Drivers will notice that the lights on the overhead gantries at the tolling points have changed.  Because the ExpressAccount types use license plate numbers – instead of FasTrak transponders – to collect tolls, each vehicle’s front and back license plate must now be illuminated so that a photo can be taken of each.

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.  Changes to California’s standard license plate also made it necessary to begin taking color photos. 

ENP_4750The 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.  

Over the last seven years, these lights have been installed in more than 500 toll lanes nationwide to support license plate tolling.  Again, we understand that it is not uncommon for motorists to notice the lights when they are first installed, but experience shows that within a couple of weeks of installation drivers grow accustomed to them.

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.

GET $50 IN FREE TOLLS!

With cash toll collection being removed from The Toll Roads in May, now is the time to sign up for FasTrak® or an ExpressAccount™ and cash in on $50 in free tolls.  

To receive $50 in free tolls, simply sign up for a new account with The Toll Roads, then start a new subscription with The Orange County Register or the Long Beach Register.

 OC Register LogoHere’s how:

  • Sign up for a new ExpressAccount or FasTrak account at thetollroads.com or using our free app;
  • Keep your account name and number handy;
  • Call The Registers at 866-710-1150 and mention offer code TOLLROAD or visit: ocrsubscribe.com/tollroad;
  • Enter your Toll Road account name and number on the notes/comments page; and
  • Enjoy $50 in free tolls!

Already have FasTrak or an ExpressAcount?  You can get $50 in free tolls, too, when you start a new Register subscription.  Just follow steps two and three listed above to receive this exclusive offer.

Fine print:  Offer valid from January 1 through February 15, 2014.  Free tolls are non-refundable.  Free toll offer not good on other California toll facilities.  The $50 in free tolls will be applied to the account within 60 days or by April 15, 2014.  Home delivery of print copy only available to Register delivery areas.  Offer valid for new Register subscribers only, must not have been a subscriber within the last 30 days.

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.