FDOT to increase tolls by 25 cents

Toll hike applies to cash, SunPass users

By Jacey Birch - Anchor/Animal Advocate

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Drivers traveling on Florida Department of Transportation toll roads are going to have to pay more starting in about 10 days.   

As of Sunday June 24 at 6 a.m., toll booths will be charging an extra 25 cents in the cash lanes and charging 25 cents to SunPass transponders going through the electronic toll lanes. 

"I kind of feel like I was already dollared to death," said Chris David after he spent $12 to drive from Orlando to Miami traveling on Florida's Turnpike. 

He's not looking forward to the toll increase but he is willing to pay for the privilege.  

"I would probably still use it because the alternative is (Interstate 95), and there's obviously less traffic on the Turnpike," David said. 

The FDOT toll roads that will undergo the price hike are the Turnpike, the Sawgrass Expressway and Alligator Alley. 

"We've waited the maximum amount of time, and unfortunately we have to get it done by June 30, regardless of the economic climate, so we waited as long as we could," says Chad Huff with FDOT. 

This cost of living increase is mandated by Congress every five years. Cash customers saw a bump in 2007, but SunPass customers will be feeling their first added charge since electronic tolling began in 1999. 

"I don't like it. I just have to accept it because I have to use the roadway," said Van Curtis, a limo driver who makes his money chauffeuring clients and uses toll roads all the time.   

But, the added quarter cost will not stop him from taking the Turnpike. 

"It's a necessity that I drive because that's the nature of my business," Curtis said. 

FDOT raises more than $600 million in toll revenue annually throughout the state.

This price hike will cover new interchanges, improvements to existing interchanges, adding lanes to congested corridors and the building of new open-road tolling structures.  

Even with the 25-cent across-the-board increase to both cash and SunPass drivers, tolls will still be less costly for those with a SunPass.

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