The 241 Toll Road, also known as the California State Route 241 (SR 241) runs from Oso Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita, South Orange County to California State Route 91 (SR 91) in Yorba Linda.
The 241 Toll Road is 25 miles long and can definitely save you time, especially on a weekend returning from Vegas or anywhere in the Inland empire heading to South Orange County. But, the 241 Toll Road is not an inexpensive drive. I rode it on a Sunday afternoon and the total cost was $7.75.
I was on the final leg of a long days’ ride along California State Route 138 that took me through Palmdale, Lancaster and Crestline, eventually dropping me down onto the 91.
There really is no real good time to be on the 91 but 4 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, heading west is asking for nothing heartache. Traffic was already starting to slow and up ahead I could see it at a dead stop. The idea of splitting lanes at 15 to 20 miles an hour, dealing with bumper to bumper traffic and aggravated weekend drivers just didn’t seem all that appealing. I was tired and decided it would be worth taking the toll road and since I’d never ridden it I wanted to give it a try.
The onramp is from the right of course, and slopes in a large rising arc to the left over the 91 and drops you onto the toll road. As soon as I was off the onramp and on the 241, it opened up. There was virtually no traffic, there was a light breeze and the temperature literally dropped about 10 – 15 degrees. Right then I knew that no matter what the price it was going to be worth it.
According to MapQuest, the difference between staying on the 91 to the 55 and then the 5 dropping down into Mission Viejo or taking the 241 is only about 5 miles.
MapQuest says taking the non-toll road route is 29 miles and as I mentioned before the toll road is 25 miles. The real saving is time. I ran the 241 from the beginning in Yorba Linda to its end at Oso Parkway in less than half an hour. And I wasn’t speeding, well not all that much. I kept it at about 80 MPH.
With the traffic being what it was that day had I stayed on the 91, I am sure it would have taken me at least another hour to make it to Mission Viejo. So $7.75 in this case was well worth it.
There were three tolls that I had to pay. The first one was about 3 miles after I got on the toll road. There I paid $3. The next tollbooth I came to was at about 17 miles down the road. There and I had to pay an additional $2.75. And finally at the end of the toll road at Oso Parkway was a basket where I had to throw in $2 worth of quarters in order to exit without being photographed and ticketed. The fine by the way for not paying the toll is $57.50.
Overall The 241 Toll Road doesn’t seem like a practical (translate: affordable) option to use on a daily basis. But it is a great road, it’s well maintained and if you have Fastrak you wouldn’t have to stop at the tollbooths making The 241 that much faster. I think it’s worth using when you need it. But everyday? I don’t think so.