To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

OC toll road payment options unclear for some drivers


By Rudabeh Shahbazi, June 9, 2014




 In Orange County, the transition from human attendants to electronic-only toll roads has been a bumpy one.


IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- In Orange County, the transition from human attendants to electronic-only toll roads has been a bumpy one. Issues regarding poor signage and unexpected fines have some drivers upset.

You'll no longer see anyone in the toll booths on Orange County toll roads. They've been shut down for about a month now, moving into the electronic realm, with drivers able to pay by FasTrak transponder or a program that allows you to pay through an account registered to your license plate.

But the transition hasn't been so smooth for some drivers who need a one-time payment option.

"There were no signs. Two weeks later, I got a ticket in the mail for $240," said driver Erica Evans.

Evans eventually got her ticket reduced to $40, but only after she read dozens of Yelp.com reviews by drivers with similar complaints about the lack of a clear explanation of how to pay the toll.

"I was outraged," said Evans. "I was so mad that I called you guys, because it's unfair."

Toll-road planners say there are more than 100 signs posted, but their focus now is on outreach and educating drivers about what exactly the signs mean.

"It's a learning process and remember, we have 250,000 people a day are paying the toll, and so we know that a lot of people understand," said Lisa Telles, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which runs the toll system. "We have hundreds and hundreds of people who are utilizing the one-time toll option online or through their mobile app."

The toll system now requires you to go online to pay within 48 hours of passing the toll area if you don't already have an account.

Telles says they are especially focused on visitors who might not know anything about the new system. And she says they welcome customer feedback to make improvements.

"We're looking at our signage program, we're looking at some adjustments to the website to make sure that the information is clear when they do get to the website if they are not familiar with the area," said Telles

"Anytime I can re-route myself to find less traffic, I'm for that, but as long as it's explained," said Erica Evans.