9/5/2007Florida: Tolls to Reduce Congestion on Uncongested Roads
Congestion pricing tolls being studied on a Florida interstate that has no congestion.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) may impose congestion-pricing on Interstate 75 in Pasco County. The freeway in question is not congested, but Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, which is part of FDOT, is nonetheless considering open-road tolling at the request of county officials. Open road tolling uses electronic transponders and a camera network to track motorists and charge higher rates during peak periods.
"All we're doing is seeing if it would be feasible for the county to include this in their transportation network," Turnpike spokesman Joanne Hurley told the Tampa Tribune newspaper.
Pasco is following the lead of other counties and that of federal and state officials. Tolls in Florida are expected to bring in more than $1 billion in revenue this year with future revenues expected to explode as new tolls come online. Last month, the US Department of Transportation handed FDOT $62.9 million as a reward to create toll lanes on Interstate 95 in Miami. Lee County expects to add toll lanes to Interstate 75. Florida Governor Charlie Crist (R) on Tuesday suggested tolling could help solve the state's budget deficit.