Cars driving through toll booths — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Image by: magico110
You might receive a substantially lower toll roads bill this year thanks to a new measure that Governor DeSantis signed into law, which intends to save the typical commuter $400 annually.
It is one of a list of new laws set to take effect on Jan. 1.
For many drivers who appreciate hitting “snooze,” tollways offer their advantages.
“It’s faster for me. It lets me sleep in another 15 minutes,” said Ralph Musgrave, a daily commuter.
However, convenience can come at a significant cost. Each pass through a toll can cost hundreds of dollars for frequent toll users.
“What I pay on my bill, I don’t know because it’s straight out of my bank account. So I don’t pay attention to it, I don’t want to know,” Musgrave said.
But from now on, owners of toll transponders who pay at least 35 tolls each month will get a 50 percent discount on their subsequent bill. According to the governor’s administration, this will help 1.2 million individuals and save the typical commuter around $400 annually.
“This program provides impactful cost savings to Floridians and directly benefits individuals and families by helping with today’s financial challenges,” said Lieutenant Gov. Jeanette Nuñez.
But there are some exceptions. The agreement excludes semi-trucks because it only applies to two-axle vehicles. In addition, drivers must have a working toll transponder in their vehicle.
The program can be opted into without any action from the customer, and those who qualify will automatically receive a 50 percent credit.
The news was fantastic for construction company owner Joseph Gaskin. Gaskin said between the frequent tolls and high gas prices that he pays, his company has been overrun by transportation costs.
“It’s a real kick in the shins,” Gaskin said. “It’s costing me a fortune out here. The price of the fuel, and gas has gone up, we need something back, don’t we? It’s just unbelievable how much it’s costing us, so if we could get 50% back, that would be real savings for us. We really need it.”
Erin Maroon was thrilled by the news. The Florida Department of Transportation contacted her via email and said she qualifies for the toll break as she is a frequent commuter.
“I was like, ‘That looks like spam, I’m gonna delete it,'” Maroon said while showing WPTV the FDOT email she received. “I kept reading and was like, ‘Oh, wait!’ The minute I realized it wasn’t spam, I looked into it more and realized it’s going to be great for me, I mean, I get on the Turnpike every day for work, so for me, it’s at least five times a week [I’m paying a toll].”
Stay tuned for more information on the bill.
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Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.