A date has been set for the transition away from cash payments on Orange County toll roads.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 14, drivers on the county's toll road system — which includes State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261 — can no longer use dollars and coins to cover their fares.
Instead, motorists can use FasTrak transponders or new Express Accounts, which if not prepaid will allow charges to be applied to a credit card or the driver to be billed monthly.
A one-time-toll option will also allow drivers to pay online within 48 hours of passing through a toll station.
"We're seeing the end of an era, but The Toll Roads are definitely riding the wave of change. Paying cash for most things today is quickly becoming obsolete," Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill, chairman of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency, said in a prepared statement. "With our new nonstop system, gone will be the need to stop at toll plazas and fumble around for exact change."
The Toll Roads began preparing last fall for what they expect to be more efficient toll collection methods. Toll collection points were retrofitted with new technology, and some tollbooths have been removed to make way for new truck lanes. The other tollbooths will be barricaded beginning May 14.
— Emily Foxhall