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O.C. Toll Roads Going Cash-Free in May

Orange County's toll road agency plans to eliminate cash toll collection from highways 73, 133, 241 and 261 in May, according to a Wednesday announcement.

It's part of a bid to draw more drivers onto the roads, Transportation Corridor Agencies CEO Neil Peterson said during a recent city council meeting.

The estimated 16 percent of drivers who pay cash to use the roads will then have five cash-free options.

Here are the five cash-free Orange County toll road options:
  • Use a FasTrak transponder. These are pre-paid and come with a small monthly fee. They work with any toll road in the state.
  • Sign up for an ExpressAccount. These are transponder-free accounts that can be paid in three ways: 1) Pay with a pre-paid account; 2) charge a credit card each time a toll is paid; 3) pay an invoice for all tolls used over the course of a month. ExpressAccount payments have no monthly maintenance fee, but the invoice option costs $2 per invoice.
  • Without any account at all, pay online within 48 hours to avoid a fine.
"I'm convinced a lot of people don't use our roads because they're just concerned—where do I get off, where do I get on, will I have exact change?" Peterson said.

The CEO said the TCA hopes to upsell ExpressAccount users with FasTrak transponders.
Maura Mikulec January 09, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Wow. Seems stupid to me. Draw more drivers to the road? I'm not getting it. I don't use the toll road much, but when I do, I just pay cash. I don't want to sign up for anything, or have to remember to have something with me - or be driving the right car that is signed up. I just wanna pay as I use and go. So, now I can still just go, but then I have to remember to go online and pay later? Do you know how many fines I incur from libraries and the likes for not remembering thins in a timely manner? Ugh. Sure, have that option to pay later for people who don't have cash (I think, in fact, you can already do that) but why do away with my ability to pay cash as I go?!!??!! I don't get it. And so, are all those always nice booth attendants losing their jobs? Hmmm. Maybe that's what's it's really about, cutbacks in disguise?

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