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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Cash Tolls on the Toll Roads will End May 14

If you’ve driven any of our local toll roads recently, you are aware of (or perhaps confused about) the changes coming to TCA toll collection.  On May 14, drivers will no longer have an option to pay cash at toll booths.  According to the toll road agency:

On May 14 at 12:01 a.m., we will eliminate the need for cash-paying drivers to stop and pay at toll booths. Soon, every vehicle will travel nonstop on The Toll Roads, thanks to four new ways to pay that were developed for drivers by drivers.  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 their method of payment, when they want to pay their toll and how much of California they intend to explore.

The Orange County Business Council is excited about TCA’s new cashless tolling technology:

Excited or not, many people acknowledge that this is, at least in part, a move by the financially troubled toll roads to reduce the overhead costs associated with cash toll collection.  Only 17% of drivers pay cash, so it makes sense to eliminate the expenses associated with a small share of the drivers.

The new ExpressAccount options will use license plate reading technology to either debit, charge or invoice drivers for using the toll roads.  They are all limited to the local Orange County toll roads (namely, the 73, 133, 241 and 261).  Use of either the 91 toll road or the 10 of 110 toll lanes will require a FasTrak account, and the FasTrak drivers will still pay a lower toll.  There is also a one-time toll payment option, but the driver must go online within 48 hours of incurring the charge and provide the following information to complete the transaction:

  • Date and location(s) of the trip(s)
  • Name, address, and phone number
  • License plate number and state
  • Payment method, credit card or electronic check

That certainly seems less convenient than paying cash on the way.  In any event, TCA provides more information about the payment options here here or here.

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