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OCTA’s 405 Express Lanes Helping Drivers with More than 2 Million Trips Taken in First Two Months

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February 1, 2024


New tolled express lanes opened Dec. 1, along with a new general-purpose lane in each direction, helping everyone who travels through one of the nation’s most traveled corridors

ORANGE – The 405 Express Lanes, open for two months as of today, is helping tens of thousands of drivers every day speed up their commutes with a reliable time-saving option for traveling through one of the nation’s busiest stretches of highway.

In its first seven weeks of operation, the 405 Express Lanes recorded 6.3 million transactions, translating to approximately 2 million trips taken on the 405 Express Lanes. Because the 14 miles of express lanes have several entrances and exits, and drivers are only charged for the sections they drive, in some cases multiple transactions are recorded per trip.

The 405 Express Lanes opened Dec. 1 as part of a $2.1 billion improvement project that also included a general-purpose lane in each direction on I-405 between Costa Mesa and the border with Los Angeles County. The project also included 18 new bridges, on- and off-ramps and new sidewalks and bike lanes, improving access to and from communities neighboring the 405.

“We are happy to see how the improvements to the new 405 Express Lanes are making a difference in the lives of so many of our residents, commuters and visitors who can now better access the many different destinations that make Orange County such a unique and vibrant place," said OCTA Chair Tam. T. Nguyen. “The millions of trips already taken underscores the need for these innovative transportation solutions that help keep Orange County moving."

During those first seven weeks, more than 4,100 405 Express Lanes accounts were opened and more than 6,800 transponders issued. Because all toll lanes in California are interoperable, many travelers use existing transponder accounts with 33% of total transactions coming from Transportation Corridor Agencies transponders and 15% from LA Metro.

With the opening on the first day of December, use of the 405 Express Lanes grew sharply and then slowed during the holiday period. Trips picked up again in the new year. On peak days, approximately 59,000 trips have been taken on the 405 Express Lanes.

That level of usage is equivalent to the level seen on the 91 Express Lanes, which OCTA has owned and operated for more than 20 years, pioneering the use of express lanes to provide a reliable travel option and improve commuting for everyone who travels the corridor.

On the 405 Express Lanes, northbound transactions account for about 55% of all transactions and the heaviest usage occurs on Fridays – with the lowest usage on Sundays. The majority of transactions so far are from solo-occupancy vehicles, and the heaviest traveled section of the 405 Express Lanes is between I-605 and SR-22 – one of the most traveled areas nationwide. As the 405 Express Lanes evolve, OCTA will routinely monitor usage and make adjustments to operations as necessary to continue meeting the evolving needs of travelers across the region.

For more information or to sign up for an account, visit www.405expresslanes.com.

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