Pay-by-plate drivers could see increase in toll rates

Proposal calls for pay-by-plate rates to be double transponder rates

By Clay LePard - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Changes could soon be coming to the way some drivers pay for tolls.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority is considering increasing the rate for drivers who use "Pay-by-Plate," on its roadways like State Road 429, State Road 408, State Road 414 and State Road 528. 

The proposal would not affect drivers who use electronic payments such as E-Pass and SunPass transponders and stickers.

Right now, one toll has three different rates: the electronic rate, the cash rate and the pay-by-plate rate.

The cheapest rate is utilized by drivers who receive a discount by owning a transponder. Paying with cash at the toll plaza costs about 20% more, while drivers who pay a bill in the mail tied to their license plate receive a $0.20 transaction fee per toll. 

The proposed policy would increase that pay-by-plate rate, making it twice as much as the electronic rate. 

So what's the reason behind this? 

Slides from the Expressway Authority's last board meeting show they're seeing more and more pay-by-plate transactions and the cost to collect each one is going up. 

This all comes as the Florida Turnpike Enterprise moves more drivers to use pay-by-plate by removing cash toll lanes on a 70-mile stretch of the Florida Turnpike from Osceola County to Sumter County. 

The proposal will likely be brought up at the next Central Florida Expressway Authority board meeting Oct. 10. If it passes, News 6 has learned there would be an aggressive campaign to get people off pay-by-plate before the changes would go into effect in July 2020.

Copyright 2019 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.