Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida will raise rates on toll roads in 2012

Florida wants an extra quarter from drivers on toll roads next year, including at the pay plazas on the Veterans Expressway and the Suncoast Parkway.

The increases will take effect by June 30. The state has to update its operations across Florida before beginning the higher charges.

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise justifies the increases, saying money for improvements has fallen behind demands. A 2007 state law requires toll adjustments based on inflation at least every five years.

Some say the toll increases present an unfair burden, especially for residents in a southern Pinellas County community who must take a toll road to and from their homes.

"It's terribly unfair and inequitable to penalize the users of the Pinellas Bayway," said Bayway Isles resident Travis Jarman. "It's the only remaining toll road in Pinellas County."

As part of statewide changes, the east and west tolls will rise from 50 cents to 75 cents for cash-paying Bayway customers, and the fee on the southern route will rise from 35 cents to 50 cents. SunPass users will pay 50 cents at the east and west routes and 25 cents at the south end.

"Why the heck do we have to pay to come home?" asked Paul Murray, president of the Tierra Verde Community Association.

In 2008, a proposal for steeper increases on tolls and passes failed, said Murray. One obstacle to raising the tolls back then was that the Legislature had to repeal state law setting Bayway tolls. Tolls at the east and west toll plazas haven't gone up since 1986. The charge for the southern route has been the same since 1962.

Opponents have an ally in state Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg, who opposes the Bayway increases because state law setting the Bayway tolls hasn't been repealed.

"I don't think there's going to be a Bayway increase," said Frishe. "I think their lawyers are going to run into a brick wall when they get to it. It's already in statute."

The toll increases are planned to affect roads statewide, including the Florida Turnpike and Alligator Alley.

The state says higher tolls would advance $1.8 billion in projects across the state, including widening the Veterans Expressway in Hillsborough County.

SunPass transponder owners would generally pay 25 cents less.

David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8779. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/decamptimes.

Proposed toll increases in Tampa Bay

The following tolls are based on a two-axle vehicle.

Toll road Existing SunPass/cash Proposed SunPass/cash

Sunshine Skyway bridge 75 cents/$1 $1/$1.25

Pinellas Bayway 35-50 cents* 25-50 cents/50-75 cents

Veterans Expressway (per toll location) 25-75 cents/25 cents-$1 25 cents-$1/50 cents-$1.25

Suncoast Parkway (per toll location) 25-75 cents/25 cents-$1 25 cents-$1/50 cents-$1.25

* SunPass and cash tolls same Source: Florida's Turnpike Enterprise

Florida will raise rates on toll roads in 2012 12/22/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 29, 2011 4:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    Minnesota Twins pitcher Adalberto Mejia, right, makes the tag at the plate on Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr. who attempted to score on a runner's fielders' choice in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone) MNJM103
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  4. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85

    Ml

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  5. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement

    Environment

    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)