About the 91 Express Lanes

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  • About the 91 Express Lanes

  • The 91 Express Lanes is a four-lane, 18-mile toll road built in the median of State Route (SR)-91 between the SR-55/SR-91 interchange and the SR-91/Interstate (I)-15 interchange. Customers may drive the entire length or enter or exit at the county line near Green River Road. The toll for a partial and full trip is posted on the on-road pricing signs and on toll schedules.

    The 91 Express Lanes uses congestion management pricing to adjust tolls quarterly based on the number of vehicles. Since 1995, drivers have chosen this proven transportation alternative for safe, reliable, predictable travel to work, home, shopping and whenever they need to be on time.

    Motorists pay tolls through the use of a convenient FasTrak® transponder that automatically deducts the toll amount from a prepaid account. You can use a FasTrak® transponder issued by any of the California toll operators or obtain one by opening an account.

    Account holders in a vehicle with three or more people travel toll free except eastbound, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. During this peak time, carpools of three or more receive a 50% discount on the posted toll. Eligible carpoolers (3+) with a transponder-equipped vehicle must drive in the dedicated HOV 3+ lane when approaching the toll gantries in each section of the Express Lanes (Orange County and Riverside County) to receive the discount.

    When it opened in 1995, the 91 Express Lanes became the first privately financed toll road in the U.S. in more than 50 years. One of the world’s first fully-automated toll facilities, it featured the first application of value pricing in America. Transportation officials from across the globe continue to visit the 91 Express Lanes to study its advanced systems and operations.

    The 91 Express Lanes was born from the need for congestion relief on SR-91 when no public funds were available to solve this critical transportation problem. Built by the California Private Transportation Company (CPTC), the 91 Express Lanes embodied a unique concept: The private sector would take the risk and the state would get congestion relief at no cost to taxpayers.

    Built at a cost of $135 million, the Orange County section of the project was authorized as a toll road by the State of California in 1989 and opened in 1995. An agreement with the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) included a non-compete provision that created a 1.5-mile protection zone along each side of SR-91. This zone prohibited improvements along the corridor and created mobility problems as the region and corresponding transportation demands grew.

    To mitigate growing concerns over congestion, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) acquired the 91 Express Lanes franchise rights in January 2003. This eliminated the non-compete provision, clearing the way for future enhancements that will increase capacity and improve traffic flow along the SR-91 corridor.

    In 2008, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) received authority to extend the Express Lanes to I-15. Traffic congestion on eastbound SR-91 between Anaheim and Corona is routinely among the worst five areas in the nation. At a cost of $1.4 billion, the RCTC 91 Corridor Improvement Project added regular lanes, tolled express lanes, auxiliary lanes and direct express lane connectors from the northbound I-15 to the westbound SR-91 and from the eastbound SR-91 to the southbound I-15. Improvements to interchanges, ramps and surface streets were also made along the 91 corridor.

    The Riverside section of the 91 Express Lanes opened in 2017, providing customers with 8 additional miles of travel time certainty.

    To provide 91 Express Lanes customers with excellent customer service, OCTA and RCTC entered into an agreement with the current 91 Express Lanes operator to service both segments of the Express Lanes.

    Welcome

    The 91 Express Lanes is a four-lane, 18-mile toll road built in the median of State Route (SR)-91 between the SR-55/SR-91 interchange and the SR-91/Interstate (I)-15 interchange. Customers may drive the entire length or enter or exit at the county line near Green River Road. The toll for a partial and full trip is posted on the on-road pricing signs and on toll schedules.

    The 91 Express Lanes uses congestion management pricing to adjust tolls quarterly based on the number of vehicles. Since 1995, drivers have chosen this proven transportation alternative for safe, reliable, predictable travel to work, home, shopping and whenever they need to be on time.

    Motorists pay tolls through the use of a convenient FasTrak® transponder that automatically deducts the toll amount from a prepaid account. You can use a FasTrak® transponder issued by any of the California toll operators or obtain one by opening an account.

    Account holders in a vehicle with three or more people travel toll free except eastbound, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. During this peak time, carpools of three or more receive a 50% discount on the posted toll. Eligible carpoolers (3+) with a transponder-equipped vehicle must drive in the dedicated HOV 3+ lane when approaching the toll gantries in each section of the Express Lanes (Orange County and Riverside County) to receive the discount.

    Acclaim

    When it opened in 1995, the 91 Express Lanes became the first privately financed toll road in the U.S. in more than 50 years. One of the world’s first fully-automated toll facilities, it featured the first application of value pricing in America. Transportation officials from across the globe continue to visit the 91 Express Lanes to study its advanced systems and operations.

    History

    The 91 Express Lanes was born from the need for congestion relief on SR-91 when no public funds were available to solve this critical transportation problem. Built by the California Private Transportation Company (CPTC), the 91 Express Lanes embodied a unique concept: The private sector would take the risk and the state would get congestion relief at no cost to taxpayers.

    Built at a cost of $135 million, the Orange County section of the project was authorized as a toll road by the State of California in 1989 and opened in 1995. An agreement with the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) included a non-compete provision that created a 1.5-mile protection zone along each side of SR-91. This zone prohibited improvements along the corridor and created mobility problems as the region and corresponding transportation demands grew.

    To mitigate growing concerns over congestion, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) acquired the 91 Express Lanes franchise rights in January 2003. This eliminated the non-compete provision, clearing the way for future enhancements that will increase capacity and improve traffic flow along the SR-91 corridor.

    In 2008, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) received authority to extend the Express Lanes to I-15. Traffic congestion on eastbound SR-91 between Anaheim and Corona is routinely among the worst five areas in the nation. At a cost of $1.4 billion, the RCTC 91 Corridor Improvement Project added regular lanes, tolled express lanes, auxiliary lanes and direct express lane connectors from the northbound I-15 to the westbound SR-91 and from the eastbound SR-91 to the southbound I-15. Improvements to interchanges, ramps and surface streets were also made along the 91 corridor.

    The Riverside section of the 91 Express Lanes opened in 2017, providing customers with 8 additional miles of travel time certainty.

    To provide 91 Express Lanes customers with excellent customer service, OCTA and RCTC entered into an agreement with the current 91 Express Lanes operator to service both segments of the Express Lanes.

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