$20 Bucks a day to go to work?

The OCTA or the Orange County Transportation Authority
….recently raised the rates on the 91 Freeway…..to
$9.50 one way….to get to Riverside if you want the
carpool lane. Why does “elitist” never get mentioned
when people talk about “congestion pricing” for Toll
Roads? Let’s see now, a guy lives in Riverside and wants
to go to work at the Wal-Mart in Garden Grove. Guess,
he might want to car pool with six other people that live
in Riverside so they could get home about midnight after
they drop everyone off….just like the Super Shuttle
does when it picks you up at LAX and gets you back to
Lake Forest after 15 drop off points or people.

You see, in the “Good old days”…Public Transportation
included Buses that actually ran on our Freeways. There
are still a few Bus lanes on the 110 Freeway up by the
LA City Hall….but you don’t see Buses on Freeways any
more. Why? What ever happened to those Continental
Trailways and Greyhound Buses that used to so occupy our
minds. Remember the famous tag line: “Anything coming
Joe? Nah, just a dog!” Oops, you mean a Greyhound Bus
that used to flatten anything in its way? Well, now the
modern SUV Dragons have taken over the business originally
reserved for Buses. Is their anything more ridiculous than
an SUV driver on your back bumper at 80 MPH? But hey, they
have ABS Brakes….they are unafraid….but how about you?

Yes, back when….you could get from the Draft Induction
Center near 6th and Main..then right by the Continental
Trailways office back to Santa Ana….for $2.50..maybe
$4.00 dollars round trip. Well, no more! You now have to
take the Amtrak from Union Station to get to Santa Ana.
But if you land at LAX…how are you going to get to
Downtown LA and Union Station?

Ok…back to the original problem: $9.50 one way on Fast
Trak and the $238 million dollar boondoggle sold to the
County OCTA to run. Actually, when this was brought up
back in May of 2000 the price was closer to $145 million.
But hey, pretty soon you just need to get those pesky
middle men involved, like county bureaucrats and also
everyone needs to get a taste and boom….$238 million
sounded just fine. By 2005, the one way cost on the 91,
before they so called improved it….was $3.50 one way
…which was a rip even then. That however was when
“Private Industry” owned it and were taking “their taste”.
So, when the County bought it.. (The Tollway…that is!)
they quickly lowered the price to $2.75 to show everyone
that the $238 Million investment was worth the cost to
the people.

So, we now have half of the Cleaning people in Southern
California, most of the COSTCO, Wal-mart, Home Depot,
Target, CVS and Rite-Aid workers…all coming down the
91 Freeway with their FAST TRAK sensors..clicking away.
Sometimes, they just forget to move the sensor from one
car to another and then they get tagged big time for
being on the Toll Way without a sensor. John Moorlach
mentioned back in May of 2000 that people who were on
vacation and visiting California couldn’t get those Toll
Road Sensors. Well, now that he is not only a Supervisor
and a member of the OCTA Board…maybe someday “anyone”
will be able to pick up these sensors at their local
Automobile Club or Chamber of Commerce for each town.
But hey, in the meantime, they are too busy raising the
Toll Rates and enforcing their various innocuous rules
for their high techie Toll Roads.

So, eventually how much do you think the ceiling on Toll
Rates on the 91 Freeway will be? Do you think $50 bucks one
way will be enough? And does anyone care? Well, you might
want to care when they attempt to “Privatize” or have the
OCTA buy your local Freeway…like the 22 or the 55 or even
the 5 or 405. Think we are crazy? Well, keep your favorite
pens and keyboards handy….these politicians love taking
money from people that can’t afford it. Just look in your
rear view mirror….a Black SUV..is probably on your bumper
right now!

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.