On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis authorized toll savings of up to 25% for commuters who frequently use the I-4 and Florida Turnpike fast lanes, but not the Central Florida Expressway Authority network. The discount will last for six months beginning on September 1. Users of SunPass and E-Pass transponders who pay 40 or more tolls per month would receive a 20% credit, and users who pay 80 or more tolls per month would receive a 25% credit.
The governor, who is running for reelection in November, stated that this will result in SunPass subscribers receiving close to $40 million back over the course of this six-month period. “And if you consider the number of people who must use these on a daily basis, it adds up very rapidly,” DeSantis said the program for two-axle vehicles was designed to continue until the spring legislative session when it might be broadened and made permanent, something he said he couldn’t accomplish without the Legislature enacting a law.
The discount won’t apply to the Central Florida Expressway Authority or the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority because the governor stated he does not have the unilateral authority to compel those organizations to do offer it. But he also said that the Legislature had the authority to do it the following year and that the agencies might decide to do it immediately on their own if they so desired.
“We anticipate the potential benefit is around 400,000 SunPass customers who are using FDOT and Turnpike operating toll roads to commute to work every day,” DeSantis said at Florida’s Turnpike headquarters in western Orange County. DeSantis claimed that he was concentrating on commuters rather than visitors because “we’ll take it” when tourists come and pay a toll or something similar. As opposed to us, I’d rather them pay.
The governor’s initiative is comparable to a discount program run by the Central Florida Expressway Authority, which manages more than 110 miles of toll expressways in and around Orlando, including State Road 408 through the city and sizable stretches of State Roads 417 and 429 in the surrounding area. The authority’s 10-year-old scheme offers E-PASS transponder users who pay 40 to 79 tolls per month a 10% discount and those who pay 80 or more a 15% discount.
Tolls must be paid on authority roads in order for discounts to be applied. The authority received discounts of $18 million in 2021.
The board of the authority moved to take the discount program’s expansion into account in March. Although no proposal or decision date has been announced, a decision is anticipated soon. The 4% of drivers on the expressway authority’s network who do not have transponders are not included in the discount program for a variety of reasons, including being tourists, not wanting to provide credit card information, not having a bank account or other traditional accounts, or being low-income.
For more information like this do visit lakecountyfloridanews.com