23 Aug 2014
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Want More Riders? Lower Tolls, Patch Readers Say

Want More Riders? Lower Tolls, Patch Readers Say
If you want more people driving on Orange County toll roads, reduce the toll, Patch readers say.

Responding to toll roads CEO Neil Peterson's claim that the new cash-free system will encourage more paying drivers, Patch commenters took the opportunity to rally for cheaper fares. Many said more drivers would use the roads if the fare went down. Others said a cash-free system would discourage the kind of drivers that don't usually use the toll roads in the first place

Here are some comments from Patch readers:

  • Peterson is wrong. We don't use the toll roads anymore because it costs way too much now. With all the fuel efficient cars on the road, we can just go the old route which may take an extra minute going the extra mile but we can save a lot more money.—Celeste Caban
  • This is a very bad idea. Somebody better rethink this. These toll roads aren't used to the level they should be. Reduce the cost and keep the option for cash. More people will use them. They might actually make money and ease the traffic on the freeways.—MayMom
  • I have a feeling their data collection is going to backfire on them since the removal of the human contact will scare off older generations that do not have transponders. That and their entire pricing schedule is bad since there are so many fees, it makes the entire system seem shady. I also imagine adding more people to the unemployment pool will not win any hearts and minds as well.—KC
  • Terrible, terrible, terrible. Get more money out of us anyway you can. —knych keller
  • Stupid idea. It boggles my mind. They want to encourage people, so they're eliminating the one option which would make a non-regular user feel comfortable? If I'm on vacation, and using say a rental car, there is no chance I'm going to use the toll road now. Risk getting a heavy charge for not going online right away to pay it? No thanks. Only going to result in less users of the toll road, but perhaps that's the end result they're after, because they are already losing money, and are looking for a bailout of sorts down the road.—David
  • Such a stupid idea.—Lo
  • The reason more people don't use it is the ridiculous cost of tolls, particularly when there are backups and you are still paying $6 from La Paz to Jamboree on the 73, or that same amount on off-peak hours when non-toll routes like Sunday evening are wide open. Simple gouging. They should encourage drivers to take it in off-peak hours with greatly reduced tolls (like $1 or $2). Also, you can spend 5 to 10 minutes in line at unmanned toll booths trying to get the machines to accept crumpled paper money and get 5lbs of Susan B Anthony dollar coins in return. Cost + delays = frustration is why I don't use it more.—imcjl
At least one reader is all for the cash-free system:

  • It's about time... I'm running out of coins in my car! Lol!—Dey Hersh 
What do you think? Can cutting the cash toll booths encourage ridership on Orange County's toll roads? Tell us in the comments below.

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