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Tolls for the pay section of State Road 125 will decrease by up to 40 percent in some cases along the roadway that many have considered woefully overpriced since it opened.
Effective Saturday, June 30, the San Diego Association of Governments will cut the tolls along the road it recently purchased.
Savings for customers enrolled in the FasTrak electronic tolling system will be especially dramatic. New tolls will range from 50 cents to $2.75 for FasTrak users and from $2 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 for cash and credit card users.
“We are following through with our promise to taxpayers to lower tolls on South Bay Expressway,” SANDAG Chairman and Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks said. “We are optimistic that lower tolls will draw traffic away from nearby congested arterial streets and Interstate 805, improving overall mobility in South Bay.”
The revamped toll structure was approved by the SANDAG Board of Directors on May 25, 2012. SANDAG acquired the lease to operate the toll road in December 2011.
As a public agency whose mission is to improve mobility in the region, SANDAG’s business approach is different from that of the previous toll road operator. The new toll schedule balances toll reductions against generating enough revenue to pay for operations and maintenance, debt service, future improvements, and contingencies.
What is still not known is what effect cheaper toll prices along the 125 will mean for La Mesa. Since that road was opened, morning and evening rush hours have worsened at the 125/I-8 Interchange as more motorists have used the route to travel from Eastlake to Mission Valley along I-8 and on to the Golden Triangle via the newly expanded 52.