Can Orange County’s Three Toll Roads Provide a Blueprint for the Trump Plan?

The Orange County Register features a Jonathan Lansner column on the putative Trump infrastructure plan that includes “six lessons worth sharing” from Orange County’s experience. “We’ve got three toll roads — 91 Express Lanes, the 133/241/261 Foothill/Eastern and the 73 San Joaquin — that seem to fit the rough concept loosely discussed by Trump and some of his inner circle,” Lansner writes. “All three local tolls roads were debt-financed projects in which public transportation options were added with relatively non-traditional construction and operational arrangements between private builders and government transportation agencies.” He adds, “Trump’s idea could be quickly up and running, assuming there’s congressional will to buy in and legitimate projects to build. It’s a comparatively simple formula for roads: plan, borrow money, build . . . then repay the debts with toll collections. At the core, it’s user financed.”