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Reason Foundation

Orange County Lowers Toll Rates

Samuel Staley
March 30, 2009, 11:54am

The 91 Express Lanes in Orange County have just announced they are lowering toll rates as a response to reduced demand because of the slowing economy. This is the third drop since October as rising unemployment dampens demand for the the roads according to the Press-Enterprise.  


Bad news for the economy and unemployment rates has turned into good news for commuters who use the 91 Express Lanes in Orange County.
For the third time in six months, prices on the toll lanes will drop for seven hourly periods of the week by 50 cents. The new rate takes effect April 1.

The Express Lane officials monitor traffic daily, and make adjustments to toll rates on a quarerly basis. It's not real time, like the I-15 HOT lanes in San Diego or I-394 Lanes in Minneapolis, but it's close. The Express Lanes now have a maximum toll of $7.75 Tuesday Eastbound from 5-6 pm, dropping to $4.60 from 6-7 pm. 
We discuss the 91 Express Lanes and variable rate pricing extensively in our book Mobility First: A New Vision for Transportation in a Globally Competitive 21st Century published recently by Rowman & Littlefield.


Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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