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Central Florida Expressway Authority Gives Drivers A Brake On Tolls

State Road 429 in central Florida / Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
State Road 429 in central Florida / Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority board voted unanimously Thursday to freeze a 15 percent toll hike that was scheduled to kick in this summer.

The board also voted to lower future toll increases to either 1.5 percent or the rate of inflation for the following five years.

The toll increases were planned years ago, but the board dug into the expressway authority’ books and saw that it was on solid financial ground.

Expressway Authority Treasurer Jay Madara said the smaller toll increases compared to what was planned will add up for drivers.

“A toll payer who is paying $100 a month in tolls, that person will save over $1,000 during that six-year period,” said Madara.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer chairs the authority board. In a letter he asked Madara to work with expressway authority staff to see if the planned toll increases could be stopped.

Madara said it helps that business and tourism have been strong in Florida.

“With both of those factors helping drive higher volumes than anticipated,” he said, “allow us to forego a rate increase on our toll payers and keep costs flat this year.”

Even with lower tolls, Madara said the expressway authority will be able to afford the $1.3 billion in projects planned for the next five years.

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