San Diego Business Journal

South Bay Commuters to See Tolls Decline

By Mike Allen Monday, June 18, 2012

San Diego’s only toll road, state Route 125, between Lemon Grove and Otay Mesa, gets cheaper to use starting June 30 when new rates go into effect, said the San Diego Association of Governments, the public planning agency that acquired the road out of bankruptcy late last year.

Drivers enrolled in FasTrak, an automatic toll collection system, will enjoy the most savings, with the toll ranging from 50 cents to $2.75 depending on the distance. The current rate is 85 cents to $3.85 for FasTrak users.

The new rates for cash and credit card payers will be $2 to $3.50, down from the current rates of $2.50 to $4.

Sandag’s board approved reducing the tolls at its May 25 meeting as a way to increase traffic on the underused road, and relieve overcrowding on Interstate 805 and nearby streets.

State Route 125, called the South Bay Expressway, runs for about 10 miles through the South Bay, linking state Route 905 to state Route 54 near the Sweetwater Reservoir. It was built by a private entity which obtained leasing rights from the state and opened it in 2007 as the recession took hold. After the entity went bankrupt in 2010, a consortium of banks sold the roadway to Sandag for $345 million, a fraction of its cost.