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San Diego Association of Government, SANDAG, announced today that beginning June 30 tolls will be reduced for State Route 125/South Bay Expressway.

According to the press release, "New tolls will range from 50 cents to $2.75 for FasTrak users and from $2.00 to $3.50 for cash and credit card users. Current tolls are 85 cents to $3.85 for FasTrak users and $2.50 to $4.00 for cash and credit card users."

The Expressway has been underutilized since its construction. Many Californians are reluctant to pay a road toll, and some local residents have criticized the route the 10-mile road takes.

SANDAG chair Jerome Stocks expressed the hope that "lower tolls will draw traffic away from nearby congested arterial streets and Interstate 805, improving overall mobility in South Bay."

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joepublic June 13, 2012 @ 5:53 p.m.

Why would anyone want to pay to get to somewhere that they can get to by the FREEway?


Visduh June 13, 2012 @ 7:21 p.m.

When this matter of reduced tolls first came up it seemed reasonable that the reductions would be significant. WRONG! A reduction of at least half, maybe more, would have represented a real attempt to lure drivers to use the toll road. So what do they offer? The max toll for a Fastrak user drops by $1.10, but that's only a reduction of less than 30%. For the cash-paying drivers that max toll drops by 50 cents from $4.00, a whopping(!) drop of about 13%. Are these people serious? Those cuts will have little or nothing in the way of impact on user-ship.

But then I read that the SANDAG chairman is Jerry Stocks of Encinitas, one of the most arrogant elected officials in recent county history. What is that clown doing making policy for So County when he's constantly messing up in his own city? Obviously, some folks in his own city think highly of him, although that number seems to be going down fast, or he would not hold the office of mayor there. But who put him on the SANDAG board, and who made him board chair?

Local government is out of control for sure.


SurfPuppy619 June 13, 2012 @ 9:33 p.m.

Visduh, people are "appointed", promoted and hired into gov jobs based on connections, nothing more, you know that. Look at Alan Bersin-that guy could never in his life get a real job in the real world on his own.


Susan Luzzaro June 13, 2012 @ 8:45 p.m.

Visduh, I was surprised too at the tolls. I'll have to take a ride after June 30 and see how it pans out. It will be interesting to see if the ridership picks up. As SANDAG expenses are for debt service as well as road maintenance...there probably is a bottom line.


Bob_Hudson June 14, 2012 @ 2 a.m.

This is the road to nowhere - it simply is not an alternative to Interstate 805 as it dumps into Spring Valley and almost-El Cajon, which are not destinations for the vast majority of traffic coming from the the road's southern terminus near the Otay Mesa border crossing. Those areas are also not destinations for very many of the residents who live along the toll road corridor, so even as a free road it would not meet the rosy projections that preceded n its construction. They now blame the problems on the economy, but in this case the bad economics are the decisions made before the road was even built by CalTrans, the feds and the private operators. Now, post-bankruptcy, SANDAG made another bad economic choice by paying almost a third-of-a-billion dollars (more than its appraised value) to buy the right to operator this turkey. That decision takes money from the widening of I-805, the road that actually goes where motorists want to go. Again, future toll road traffic projections were juggled to justify the decision.

Now we get these meaningless toll reductions that will do nothing to entice even the few who have an actual need to go where this road less traveled will take them.


Visduh June 14, 2012 @ 8:47 a.m.

I'm gratified to know that you agree that the toll reductions are meaningless. I don't fully agree that the road dumps into Spring Valley. Route 125 continues, non toll, up through La Mesa into San Diego, past Grossmont College, and down to Santee where it connects with Route 52. From there you can stay on freeway and head either east or west and ultimately connect to Route 67 to the east or I-15, I-805 or I-5 to the west. Not an elegant solution in any of those instances, but they do represent an alternate route to those now in place.


Susan Luzzaro June 14, 2012 @ 11:38 a.m.

Bob Hudson and Visduh,

the comments about route are reflective of comments I received when I did a story on the toll road before it went bankrupt. For part of the story I interviewed people outside of Henry's (Sprouts?) in the Eastlake shopping center. I also spoke to the trucker's union.
Many of them discussed problems with the route.

It's my understanding that this public-private venture was ultimately going to become publically owned. I think it was a 20 year contract. Perhaps it would have saved SANDAG a lot of money to wait....


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