TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Take the Turnpike or travel to the west coast on Alligator Alley? It’s going to cost you more because tolls were raised on Sunday for all state toll roads and bridges.
Turnpike officials say rates went up, on the average, about a quarter at each tollbooth or SunPass gantry. While drivers who pay cash have seen increases before, this is first time SunPass users will have to pay an increase since 1999.
The state said the extra money collected will be used to ease congestion and pay for improvements on the toll roads.
“It’s going to be used for a variety of safety and capacity improvements on the turnpike system, interchange improvements, that sort of thing,” said Florida’s Turnpike Spokesman Chad Huff told CBS4′s Ted Scouten. “Basically to keep pace with the transportation needs of Florida.”
But the real reason the rates are headed upward is because state law requires it. At least once every 5 years, toll officials are required to look at the consumer price index and adjust toll rates based on any increase. The state said it waited the full 5 years to ease the economic burden on motorists, but now, it must raise rates by July 1.
The effect on travelers depends on how often they use toll roads. Someone who passes through 2 tollbooths a day would see a $1.25 weekly increase in their commute, or about $60 a year.
The state’s increase has no effect on tolls charged by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority on roads like the Shula Expressway, the Snapper Creek Expressway, or the Grantigny Expressway. To see a list of the roads affected and what estimated new tolls will be, click here.
Those tolls are set differently under local rules.
Here are some sample tolls, courtesy of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.
Sunrise Boulevard to Osceola Parkway (Disney exit) went from $11.65 to $12.60 for SunPass users. For those who pay cash it went from $14.70 to $16.65.
Delray Beach to Osceola Parkway (Disney exit) went from $10.90 to $11.60 for SunPass users. Those who pay cash, it went from $13.70 to $15.40.
Sunrise Boulevard to Florida City went from $3.25 to $4.50 for SunPass users and from $4.50 to $5.75 for those who pay cash.
Delray Beach to Florida City went from $4.25 to $5.00 for SunPass users and from $5.50 to $7.00 for cash users.
Sunrise Boulevard to Wildwood went from $13.65 to $15.35 for SunPass users and from $17.20 to $19.65 for those who pay cash.
Alligator Alley went from $2 to $2.75 for SunPass users and from $2.50 to $3 for those who pay cash.
Kendall Drive to Osceola Parkway (Disney exit) went from $13.90 to $15.60 for SunPass users and from $17.70 to $20.40 for those who pay cash.