Toll roads in California vary in style of both toll collection and transponders. One thing that does connect them all are transponders known as FasTrak. All tolling agencies use this system even though their cost and use varies. Most agencies also have a minimum charge each month or some form of monthly fee. Only one, the 91 Express Lanes, has a no-fee account for motorcycles and HOV-3 vehicles. This page will include detailed information about how to contact each one in Southern California and what the basics are regarding use of their roadways.
Future “express lane” and toll road construction projects will be included on this site once they come online. So far, it looks like I-405 from the 22 to the 73, I-10 for a portion in San Bernardino County, and State 11 will have tolled sections. For I-405 and I-10, the tolls will only apply in the median lanes. State 11 will be entirely tolled once it is completed to the international border.
FasTrak Agencies in Southern California:
Los Angeles County –
On the El Monte Busway along US 101 and I-10 and I-10 HOV to near I-605, and I-110 from Adams Ave to State 91, transponders are required for ALL vehicles except motorcycles. As toll rates vary depending on vehicle occupancy, the transponders issued are adjustable to ensure the proper toll is charged. With motorcycles, there is one issue, and that is with personalized plates. Motorcycles with personalized plates are required to report the plates to MTA so that they can pass without charge.
Orange County –
Transponders are required for use of the 91 Express Lanes, which extend from State 55 to I-15 (crossing into Riverside County). Motorcycles and HOV-3 are given special accounts which are toll free except during peak hours where there are reduced rates. Special lanes are used for the HOV-3 and motorcycles where applicable.
Otherwise known as “The Toll Roads”, there are a few toll freeways in southern Orange County which are run by the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA). The roadways include all of State Routes 241 and 261, and portions of State 73 and 133. TCA has different rates for FasTrak and vehicles without a transponder. Toll rates are lower if you have a transponder. If you do not have a transponder, you can still traverse the toll roads, but there is a “one-time” toll payment option, which is posted on numerous roadside signs in addition to their website.
Riverside County –
The bulk of the 91 Express Lanes are located in Orange County. A recent (2017) extension into Riverside County has brought these toll lanes, which partly converted existing free HOV lanes, to I-15. At I-15, a direct connector was also constructed for 15N to 91W and 91E to 15S Express Lane traffic. The same rules apply to these lanes as the Orange County section including mandatory transponder use.
San Diego County –
The South Bay Expressway, a name which formerly applied to another nearby freeway, is the newest toll road in Southern California. Running along State 125 from State 54 south to State 905, it is a part of the “Outer Loop” bypass of San Diego from the international border to points north. There are mainline toll booths, albeit not manned, just north of State 905. Cards and cash are accepted at all toll booths along the route. Vehicles with transponders get a discounted toll and are not required to stop. There is also a “pay-by-plate” option available when you do not pay the toll on the roadway itself.
Transponder required for SOV ONLY.
The Express Lanes in the median of I-15 are generally HOV lanes with a transponder requirement ONLY for vehicles with single occupancy. Any vehicle that has more than one person traveling within it, as well as motorcycles, can travel these lanes without paying a toll. These lanes are managed by SANDAG and are have variable tolls based on traffic conditions. The Express Lanes also have a movable barrier that runs from Del Lago Blvd / Beethoven Dr south to State 163.