Toll Increase FAQs

Click here to see the new toll schedule effective July 1st, 2012

Q: Why are the tolls increasing?

A:  Prior to 2009, the Expressway Authority absorbed rising construction costs for 19 years without raising the tolls to help cover those expenses. The economic downturn has caused traffic on our system to decline significantly, which impacts toll revenues. Revenues pay the bills for past, current and future projects.  

The board policy adopted in 2009, considers rate increases more consistently.  Our current projects and the jobs they have created and supported come from the July increase. Nearly 400 million local toll dollars has been invested in our community since 2009 on needed capacity and safety improvements with almost 10,000 jobs. The adopted policy will continue to help fund local projects such as the Wekiva Parkway, the SR 408/I-4 Interchange and the SR 417/Turnpike partial interchange. Moving forward, the adopted toll policy enables the Expressway Authority to continue to provide safer, better and faster transportation options and services to our customers in a sustainable manner.

Click here for more information on the Expressway Authority’s toll policy.

Q: How much more will I pay under the new toll rates?

A: Effective July 1, 2012, E-PASS customers will pay on average 1.5¢ more per-mile than they are currently paying. For example if today you currently pay on average $40.00 a month in tolls after July 1 your tolls would be $43.60 for the same trips.  

Benefits of being an E-PASS customer:

  • Pay less than cash customers.
  • Monthly discounts per transponder: 40-79 transactions receive a 5% discount and 80 or more receive 10%. The discount is computed and credited to your account at the end of each month.
  • Account holders also save when they drive on other toll roads in Florida, saving approximately 25% or more at most toll plazas.
  • E-PASS saves time enabling motorists to drive at posted highway speeds rather than stopping at the toll plazas.
  • Account holders can use their transponders to pay parking fees at the Orlando International Airport and Park, Bark & Fly parking.
  • Monthly detailed statement for all your toll charges.
  • Replenish your account by credit card or check.


Cash customers can start saving now by signing up for an E-PASS account by clicking here.

Q: Why don’t you cut expenses instead of raising tolls?

A: It was as a last resort and only after reducing our operating budget by over 10% that the 2009 toll policy was adopted. Unfortunately, we were left without any alternatives as the impacts of the economic recession persisted and as traffic projections showed a continued economic struggle.  Due to the severity of the economic downturn and the impact it had on our toll revenues, we needed to consider additional options beyond the reductions that were implemented. The board set forth a plan to do the following:

  • Continue to look for opportunities to reduce expenses.
  • Adopt a long term sustainable toll policy.
  • Stimulate the local economy by expediting needed improvement projects.

 

While making these tough decisions, our top priorities remain the quality of our roads and the safety of our customers.

Q: What are tolls and what is covered by the tolls I pay?

A: Tolls are a direct, user-based fee paid for the use, operation and maintenance of the expressway system and are used to:

  • Repay bonds that are sold to finance and construct projects.
  • Fund and advance roadway expansions to accommodate continuing traffic growth.
  • Provide for ongoing expenses such as maintenance and operations to provide our customers with quality roads and services.

 

Q: What was accomplished with the funds generated from the 2009 toll increase?

A: We achieved the goals we set forth with the 2009 toll increase. These included: 

  • Stabilizing our credit position. Our finances remain stable even as the region, state and national economy still is recovering
  • Start and complete four major transportation improvement projects by 2013 in an effort to stimulate the economy by supporting and creating jobs. The following major projects are well underway and will be completed on time and within budget:
     SR 408/SR 417 North Interchange
     SR 408 widening between Goldenrod Road and Chickasaw Trail
     SR 429/SR 414 Extension between Boy Scout Road and U.S. 441
     SR 429/SR 414 systems Interchange
  • Additional projects have been started and some completed during the past 3 years such as roadway widening safety and ITS improvements, just to name a few.

 

Q: Why are tolls charged even after the road is completely paid off?

A: Tolls have been used to pay for roadways for centuries.  In the 1960’s leaders in our community felt they needed an alternative to state and federal dollars to build the transportation infrastructure necessary to begin the vision they planned for our community. In fact, the Expressway Authority's system was always planned as a user-fee based system.  As toll roads are built, the revenues generated on those roads are used to pay for ongoing operations, maintenance and improvements to existing facilities as well as planning for potential new roads and services.  

Q: Will there be future toll increases?

A: Future toll increases are planned as outlined in the toll policy adopted by the Expressway Authority Board Future in February 2009.  In 2009, in order to ensure the Expressway Authority had the capacity to deliver needed transportation projects currently and into the future, the Expressway Authority’s Board implemented a forward-looking rate structure that called for increases every five years in an amount tied to the greater of CPI or 3% per year. That policy remains in effect and cannot be reduced unless the Expressway Authority can demonstrate that with a reduction, it can achieve the standard set forth in the bond documents, which is net revenues being 150% of debt service in the current and future years.

Click here for more information on the Expressway Authority’s toll policy.

Q: Why have toll roads when we can have ‘free’ roads?

A: There is no such thing as a free road. All roads cost money to operate, maintain and improve. Roads are paid for either through taxes or tolls.  Taxes are paid by everyone whether you use the roads or not. Tolls are only paid by customers who drive on the expressway system.

Q: Why charge a toll when I pay gas taxes to build and maintain roads?

A: Gas taxes, vehicle registration fees and other taxes are not used to maintain and operate the Expressway Authority’s toll roads. Rather, our toll roads are funded largely through the sale of bonds that are repaid by collecting tolls from motorists who use the road.

Q: How do the Expressway Authority’s Toll Rates Measure Up?

A: The Expressway Authority’s toll rates are lower than the rates charged on most other major metropolitan toll roads. In July, the average cost per mile to travel our system will go from an average 12.5¢ to 14¢. The average cost per mile rate for cash customers will go from 12.5¢ to 16¢. The Expressway Authority’s toll rates are about average when compared to all toll authorities nationwide.

Click here to see how the Expressway Authority's toll rates compare to other toll roads across the country.