Name 91 Express Lanes
Location Orange County, California
Mode Toll Highway
Description Four-lane toll facility in the median of a 16 km section of the 91 Riverside Freeway, one of the U.S.’ most heavily congested highways.Privately-owned and operated

The first fully automated toll road in the world, and first variably-priced toll road in the United States

As of November 2001, tolls on the Express Lanes varied between $1.00 and $4.75, reflecting the level of congestion delay avoided in the adjacent non-tolled freeway lanes

Requires use of electronic transponder.

HOVs pay a reduced (currently 50%) toll.

Sponsor CalTrans
Orange County Transportation Authority
Cost $130 million
Type of Finance $65 million in 14-year variable rate bank loans
$35 million in longer term loans (24 years)
$20 million private equity
$ 9 million subordinated debt to OCTA to purchase previously-completed engineering and environmental work
Revenue Sources Variable Rate Tolls
Project Delivery / Contract Method BTO
35-year franchise agreement between California Private Transportation Company and the State of California.
Private Investor Partner California Private Transportation Company (CPTC)
Level 3 Communications, Inc.
Cofiroute Corporation
Granite Construction, Inc.
Project Advisors
Lenders $65 million in 14-year variable rate bank loans:

Banque Nationale de Paris

Deutsche Bank

Societe Generale


$35 million in longer term loans (24 years):


Physical Status Opened in December 1995
Financial Status OCTA voted to purchase the toll road from CPTC in April 2002.
Innovations First privately-financed toll road in the U.S. in the last 50 years.

The first fully automated toll road in the world, and the first variably-priced (value pricing) toll road in the United States.

Transportation officials in the U.S. and other countries are watching this project closely to gain insights into project financing, value pricing, toll operations and customer services.

Lanes are generating important information about traffic and travel behavior responses to variable tolling.

Related Links / Articles California’s Riverside Orange Counties Agree on How to Handle Toll Road, The Business Press, 4/29/02
California’s 91 Express Lanes Toll to Rise for 4th Time Since Road Opened by Megan Garvey (01/19/99)
91 Express Lanes Finally Out of Red by H. G. Reza (08/06/98)
Paying the Toll for Traffic Congestion by Ken Reich (07/16/98)
Barrage of Erroneous Tickets Takes Toll on SR 91 Commuter by David Haldane (04/22/98)
Tolls Raised for 4th Time on 91 Express Lanes by David Haldane (04/04/98)
She Feels Wronged After Expressing Her Mistake by David Haldane (02/09/98)
Deficit, Fewer Clients Don’t Dull 91 Operators’ Pride by Frank Messina (05/02/97)
Thinking on Tolls Turns a Corner; County’s experience holds lessons for the rest of the state (04/06/97)
Owners Say California’s Privately Run Toll Road Success Forces Price Hike by Gray Scott (12/26/96)
91 Express Lanes Transponder Distribution Ahead of Schedule (06/96)
California Gets World’s First Space-Age Toll Road
by Michael Miller (12/06/95)
Contacts Greg Hulsizer
General Manager
California Private Transportation Company
91 Express Lanes
180 N. Riverview Drive, Suite 290
Anaheim, CA 92808
Tel:(714) 637-9191 x328
Fax:(714) 637-9266
Last Review/Update California Private Transportation Company, May 2002