Orange County Automates Toll Road Collections to Increase Profits

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OC’s toll roads have a new way to make money from their empty lanes crisscrossing the county: Hundreds of dollars charged in automated fines per missed toll payment, versus a measly single-time $6-per toll. Commuters beware.

Jerry Collamer's Blond County. Orange County toll roads, Transportation Corridor Agencies

You’re not lost: You are on an OC Toll Road with no toll booths. Get to a computer and pay your toll. Tolls vary. You have up to 48 hours before many bad things kick in. Enjoy your visit here, in the happiest county on earth. Your friends at TCA. Toon By Jerry Collamer.

Bye Bye TCA toll booths, Hello PROFITS!

TCA’s (OC Transportation Corridor Agencies) removal of its last Toll Booths recently promises an instant cash-cow for TCA’s shrinking ridership revenues as reported in OC papers. For drivers without a TCA account (pretty much everybody), should TCA’s hapless driver (you) follow GPS directions, ending up on OC State Hwy:  73, 241, 133, 261, or 241 aka OC toll roads (51-miles worth) you’d better act fast to avoid TCA’s fast-track-fining-mechanism (FTFM): because 48-hours after your crime (no TCA account), a $57.50 fine will be levied, plus the cost of your unpaid toll.

Guilty as charged.

If said criminal (you, or visiting loved ones) ignore TCA’s fast-fining-salvo, an additional $100 is tagged on, plus the cost of the unpaid toll. If that doesn’t get (your) every law breaker’s attention, said toll road thief (you), will lose his or her (i.e. your) vehicle registration through CA’s DMV cooperation. Does this all add up to instant profits for TCA? Oh, you bet.

Hundreds of dollars per missed toll payment, versus a measly single-time $6-per toll? Ya’think. TCA bean counters, with fewer and fewer toll-beans to count, see TCA’s ANBTRFM (accelerated-no-booths-toll-rapid-fine-model) as the mother lode of instant cash, filling TCA’s empty coffers faster than TCA’s clever but ill-fated Transponder McDonald’s Drive Thru Model, exploited by OC high schoolers, using borrowed TCA transponders from unsuspecting vehicles to grab a free lunch: Mc’sponder was quietly ditched.

Latest rumor: TCA’s investigating ways to place a lean on the criminal’s (your) house, should losing your car registration not do the trick, which of course TCA hopes it won’t as profits soar. Rumor #2: TCA’s exploring Bail Bonds, and an auto-repo franchise throughout the county, is as yet unfounded, as rumor #3 / TCA home-foreclosure exploration gets whispered about.

So, word to the wise OC commuters: keep close tabs on your mailbox, because the road less traveled in OC, is definitely a TCA toll road. And whether or not you know where YOU are, TCA knows where you live.

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Jerry Collamer

About Jerry Collamer

Jerry Collamer is a creative communications specialist. Backgrounds in National Advertising and Television Communication. Writer. Artist. Native Californian with a world-view career arch. Pragmatic and common sense urban activist -- co-founder of Wild Heritage Planners.