Toll fees cut on 91 Freeway

ANAHEIM HILLS, Calif. Officials say fewer people are using the 91 express Lanes in Orange County, especially the eastbound lanes in the afternoon. The drivers are usually those traveling from Orange County to the Inland Empire.

"A lot of people that work in Orange County and live out there are having problems in addition to the mortgage problems. There are fuel increases that have complicated problems," said driver Dan Szewczyk.

For the first time, the Orange County Transportation Authority is lowering the price drivers will pay at some tolls.

"The pricing structure is geared to keep a certain flow on those toll roads. So, if people use the toll lanes less, we charge less to try to get more people to use them," said Chris Norby, OCTA.

Tolls on the 91 express lanes vary depending on the hour of the day. The fees start at $1.25. Tolls will drop by 50 cents on 14 time slots during the week. The peak toll of $10 will drop to $9.50 for drivers traveling eastbound between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday afternoons.

"We're really glad to hear that. We use it. I mean, it's a big difference. It's a big difference. You drive ... you pass traffic," said driver Joe Leonardi.

But for some drivers it's not enough. They say they'll continue taking the congested 91 Freeway lanes that don't cost a dime.

"I don't know if I would pay over $9 for a toll or anything like that ... just go the other way," said Bill Sabo, a driver.

Officials used a formula to figure out what drivers should pay to use the 91 express lanes. If there are fewer than 2,700 vehicles traveling on the route in an hour for six weeks out of 12 weeks in a row, then the price drops by 50 cents.

OCTA officials hope to entice more drivers to use the express lanes when the price cuts go into effect on Wednesday.


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