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TRANSPORTATION

FAQs By Type

What are express lanes?

Express lanes are optional travel lanes, located on an interstate or toll road, that customers can choose to use when they want to bypass congestion. Customers in the express lanes pay a dynamically priced toll which will increase as more traffic enters the express lanes. The use of a dynamic toll allows traffic in the express lanes to remain free flowing. Express lanes provide additional travel lanes and are designed with a limited number of entrance and exit points to help serve longer, more regional trips by helping move traffic through congested urban areas.

Do I have to use the express lanes?

No, you have a choice to continue to travel on the highway system just like you do today.

What are the benefits of express lanes?

  • Provide Drivers with Travel Choices
  • Offer a More Predictable Travel Time
  • Deliver a Long-Term Solution to Manage Congestion
  • Reduce Fuel Consumption
  • Decrease Air Pollution

What are the advantages of using the express lanes versus general use lanes?

Express lanes offer you a choice for a faster, more reliable trip, especially during peak hours.

Do express lanes work like regular toll roads?

Express lanes are not the same as regular toll roads. General toll roads charge a fixed rate that does not change. Express lanes use dynamic pricing, which means that toll rates increase as the express lanes become more congested.

Why are tolls needed when I already pay a gas tax to fund transportation projects?

Toll roads are user-funded, meaning only travelers choosing to use those roads pay the toll. The tolls collected generate the revenue to build, operate and maintain the road. In addition, tolls enable projects to be planned and built years before enough tax dollars could be collected to keep up with demand. Since toll roads are primarily self-financed and are not funded with taxes, the customer is not paying twice to use the facility.

Have other states implemented similar express lane systems?

Yes. Express lanes are being used successfully in other states including California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and the Washington, D.C., area.

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How do I pay my tolls in the express lanes?

Tolls will be collected electronically with an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponder (listed on SunPass.com). Drivers cannot pay for tolls in the express lanes using cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE, as they will be considered a violator and subject to additional fees.
Here’s how you can buy and activate a SunPass.

Buy

Activate

Go to SunPass.com.
Call the Customer Service Center at 1-888-865-5352.
Visit one of the 5,000 retail locations in Florida, including Publix Super Markets, CVS Pharmacy, and Walgreens.
Download the SunPass mobile app.

How are tolls determined in the express lanes?

The toll will vary based on the level of congestion in the express lanes. Roadside equipment will monitor real-time traffic conditions, and this information will be used to determine whether the toll increases or decreases to provide a better driving experience and help maintain traffic flow.

What toll would I pay if the rate changes immediately after I enter the express lanes?

Upon entering the express lanes you will pay the rate displayed on the sign until you reach the next decision point. You never will pay a higher toll amount than the rate you saw on the sign. If the toll decreases after you enter the express lanes, you will pay the lower amount.

Can I find out in advance how much I would pay to use the express lanes?

The Florida Department of Transportation has developed the FDOT Toll Calculator Mobile App which calculates your toll based on your selected trip. Phase 2 of the Mobile App is currently under development and will provide you with estimated toll rates for express lanes located within your selected trip. Please use caution and do not use the app while driving.

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What vehicles are eligible to use the express lanes?

Any two-axle vehicle equipped with an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponder can use the express lanes. Trucks with three or more axles and passenger vehicles pulling trailers or boats are not permitted.

Do any vehicles qualify for reduced tolls or exemptions in the express lanes?

Yes, the following vehicles qualify for a toll exemption in the express lanes on interstates and non-Turnpike facilities ONLY, but they must register annually:

  • Vanpools
  • Public transit buses
  • School buses
  • Over-the-road buses

To use the express lanes on a Turnpike facility, registered vanpools, public transit buses, school buses and over-the road buses are only required to pay the general toll and will not be charged the additional express lane toll.
To register a qualifying vehicle, please visit SunPass.com/busreg to fill out an application or call 1-888-865-5351.

Do taxis have to pay tolls in the express lanes?

Yes, taxis will have to pay the posted tolls to use the express lanes.

How do I enter and exit the express lanes?

Express lanes are divided into separate toll segments with dedicated entrance and exit areas that will be clearly identified by overhead signs.

How are access points to and from the express lanes determined?

Access points in and out of the express lanes are based on travel patterns in the area.

Why are there only a limited number of designated entrance and exit points to access the express lanes?

The access points are selected to serve long-distance, regional trips in order to bypass congested areas.

Will there be a speed limit in the express lanes?

Express lanes have the same minimum and maximum speed limits as the general use lanes.

Do express lanes have a shoulder for emergency stopping?

Express lanes will have shoulders to accommodate disabled cars as well as law enforcement and emergency vehicles. You can call *FHP (347) on your mobile phone for help.

What if my car breaks down or there is a crash in the express lanes?

The express lanes will always be monitored for incidents. If your car breaks down, do not stop in the middle of the road. Safely pull over to the side of the road and call the Florida Highway Patrol Communication Center at *347. Depending on your needs, a Road Ranger or Florida Highway Patrol officer will be dispatched to help you. When there is a crash in the express lanes blocking traffic, the entrance to the express lanes will be closed.

Do I get charged the toll if there is an incident in the express lanes?

If an incident occurs in a segment of an express lane, and you are directed by law enforcement to exit, you will not be charged the express lane toll for that segment.

What happens if law enforcement directs me to use an express lane due to an incident in the general use lanes?

You will not be charged the express lane toll for the segment that you are directed to use; however, you are expected to exit back into the general use lanes at the earliest opportunity.

Will the signs in the express lanes show travel time between destinations?

No, the signs in the express lanes will only provide toll rates and destinations.

Will express lanes be open to traffic at all times?

Yes, the express lanes will be in operation every day of the year, except when these lanes are closed due to incidents or scheduled maintenance activities.

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How are tolls enforced in the express lanes?

Tolls on express lanes are collected electronically. Drivers must have an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponder (listed online at SunPass.com). Special cameras are placed at each tolling point to capture an image of a vehicle’s license plate if an active transponder is not detected. A violation notice is then mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle that includes all toll charges in the express lanes, plus a $2.50 administrative fee and an additional $25 for each day the vehicle incurs a violation. If the owner does not pay all charges after the second notice, a vehicle license plate registration hold will be established.

What if I do not have an active SunPass or other interoperable transponder?

You should not enter the express lanes as you will be considered a violator and are subject to additional fees.

What if I am an out-of-state visitor wanting to use the express lanes?

Everyone using the express lanes must have an active SunPass or other interoperable transponder. If you are a Georgia resident with an active Peach Pass or a North Carolina resident with an active NC Quick Pass, you can use the express lanes with these transponders in your vehicle. In addition, SunPass has a current agreement with rental car agencies. Visit SunPass.com to learn more about using rental cars while driving in the express lanes.

Is it legal to cross over the express lane markers to change lanes?

No, it is both illegal and unsafe to do so. Express lanes can only be accessed at the designated entry or exit points. Drivers entering or exiting the express lanes at other locations are subject to fines. Florida Highway Patrol continuously monitors the express lanes for violators.

Can I tow a trailer or boat in the express lanes with my two axle vehicle?

Trailers or boats of any kind will not be permitted in the express lanes, regardless of the type of vehicle towing them. If you enter the express lanes towing a trailer or boat, you will be considered a violator and subject to additional fees.

What can I do if I accidentally enter the express lanes?

Remain calm and continue driving to the first available exit. However, you will be charged for each tolling point you pass before exiting. In order to avoid additional fees for driving in the express lanes without a transponder, please call SunPass at 1-888-TOLL-FLA.

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FAQs By Region

Why are tolls coming back to the area after 27 years?

Since 1989 when residents voted to remove tolls in the Jacksonville area, traffic congestion has progressively worsened, fueled by tremendous growth in the metro region. With limited capacity to continue widening roads indefinitely, the state is building a network of express lanes to manage congestion throughout urban areas, while keeping the toll-free lanes available for drivers who choose to use them.

Will the First Coast Expressway have express lanes?

The First Coast Expressway is being constructed as an all electronic toll road without express lanes.

When is construction of the express lanes on I-295 expected to be completed?

Construction of a regional interconnected network of express lanes is ongoing. Expected opening dates for express lanes in your area are:

  • I-295 between I-95 and Buckman Bridge: Fall 2017
  • I-295 between SR 9B and J. Turner Butler: Spring 2019

Will I know how much it costs to use the express lanes before entering?

Yes, toll amounts will be posted on the toll rate signs (as shown below) well in advance of the express lane entrances to give drivers plenty of time to choose whether or not to use the express lanes.

Express Lanes Sign

How are express lanes separated from the adjacent lanes?

The express lanes on I-295 will be separated from the non-toll lanes using express lane markers.

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When is construction of the express lanes expected to be completed?

Construction of a regional interconnected network of express lanes is ongoing. Expected opening dates for express lanes in your area are:

  • Beachline West Expressway/SR 528: opens in phases starting in 2018
  • Turnpike Mainline: opens in phases starting 2021
  • I-4 (SR 434 to Kirkman Road): 2021

Will I know how much it costs to use the express lanes before entering?

Yes, toll amounts will be posted on the toll rate signs (as shown below) well in advance of the express lane entrances to give drivers plenty of time to choose whether or not to use the express lanes.

Express Lanes Sign

How are express lanes separated from the adjacent lanes?

Express lanes on I-4 will be separated from the non-toll lanes using concrete barriers. All express lanes along the Turnpike System will be separated by express lane markers.

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Will the Gateway Expressway have express lanes?

The Gateway Expressway is being constructed as an all electronic toll road without express lanes.

When is construction of the express lanes expected to be completed?

Construction of a regional interconnected network of express lanes is ongoing. Expected opening dates for express lanes in your area are:

  • Veterans Expressway: opens in phases starting Fall 2017, and will be fully open by Summer 2018
  • I-275 between Gandy Boulevard and 4th Street N: 2022

Will I know how much it costs to use the express lanes before entering?

Yes, toll amounts will be posted on the toll rate signs (as shown below) well in advance of the express lane entrances to give drivers plenty of time to choose whether or not to use the express lanes

Express Lanes Sign

How are express lanes separated from the adjacent lanes?

The express lanes on Tampa Bay Express (TBX) and Veterans Expressway will be separated from the adjacent lanes using express lanes markers.

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When is construction of the express lanes expected to be completed?

Construction of a regional interconnected network of express lanes is ongoing. Expected opening dates for express lanes in your area are:

  • I-75: 2018
  • SR 826: opens in phases starting in 2017
  • Turnpike Extension: opens in sections starting in Spring 2018 through Spring 2020
  • 95 Express Phases 3 and 4: after 2022

Will I know how much it costs to use the express lanes before entering?

Yes, toll amounts will be posted on the toll rate signs (as shown below) well in advance of the express lane entrances to give drivers plenty of time to choose whether or not to use the express lanes.

Express Lanes Sign

Is there a maximum toll to travel in the express lanes?

There is a maximum toll on the original seven miles of 95 Express, as outlined in the Florida Administrative Code, Rule 14-100.003. For all other projects, there is no maximum toll. Tolls in these lanes fluctuate based on traffic demand. As such, the price in the express lanes is set according to the level of congestion in these lanes during different times of the day.

Who is eligible to use the express lanes?

Any two-axle vehicle equipped with a properly mounted SunPass can use the express lanes. Trucks with three or more axles are only allowed on the 595 Express lanes. Trucks with three or more axles and passenger vehicles pulling trailers are not permitted to use any other express lanes and will be considered a violator and subject to additional fees.

Do any vehicles qualify for toll exemptions or reduced tolls in the express lanes?

Certain vehicles are exempt from paying a toll on 95 Express Phases 1 and 2 (from south of SR 112/I-195 in Miami-Dade to north of I-595 in Broward County). 95 Express is part of a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane conversion program and is the only facility in the state where the following vehicles are exempted from tolls once registered:

  • 3+ occupant carpools
  • South Florida vanpools
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • ILEVs (inherently low emission vehicles)
  • School buses
  • Express buses/regular transit buses
  • Over-the-road buses
  • Motorcycles (not required to register)

Drivers and agencies must register their eligible vehicles annually with South Florida Commuter Services.

How are express lanes separated from the adjacent lanes?

Reversible express Lanes on I-595 are separated from the non-toll lanes using concrete barriers. Other express lanes in the region are, or will be, separated by express lane markers, guardrail or turf.

Will there be a passing lane provided when there is a single express lane on 95 Express?

Passing lanes are typically provided in rural highways to pass trucks. Express lanes on I-95 do not allow slower vehicles such as trucks with three or more axles. Therefore, this system will not have passing lanes.

Can I tow a trailer or boat in the express lanes with my two-axle vehicle?

Trucks with three or more axles and passenger vehicles pulling trailers or boats are only permitted on 595 Express. No trailers or boats of any kind will be permitted in any of the other the express lanes in Florida, regardless of the type of vehicle towing them. If you tow a trailer or boat on an express lane where it is not permitted, you will be considered a violator and subject to additional fees.

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