Everything you need to know about express lanes on State Road 528

No, they don't cost extra

ORLANDO, Fla. – Road construction is happening in every corner of Central Florida and some would never guess that some of these projects are finishing up.

You may have heard of new express lanes being installed across our highways and the Turnpike Enterprise has wrapped up its initial express lane project. Located on the far western portion of State Road 528, you’ll find these lanes, but how do you use them and what do they cost?

I had Katie Mitzner with Turnpike Enterprise take a ride with me to help spread some knowledge. 

During our ride up and down SR-528, I asked Mitzner the key questions some of us have been probably scratching our heads about. When it comes to how much money drivers need to pay to use the express lanes, I was kind of surprised.

Currently, there is no extra cost to utilize the express lanes. As long as you are paying your normal fee to use SR-528, then you are eligible use the express lanes at no extra cost. 

When I found out these lanes cost nothing extra to use I started to question myself as to what these lanes were intended for.

“What express lanes do is gives drivers an option. If they want to travel from one destination to another without having to switch lanes they can just go right on through, and maintain their speed from one place to the other safely and more efficiently," Mitzner said.

What I got out of this was, say you want to go from the Turnpike to Interstate 4 or I-4 to the Turnpike using SR-528, you don’t plan on exiting anywhere and your only goal is point A to point B. Well, then you would simply stay left and keep cruising. If you’re considered “local” traffic and plan on exiting somewhere then you would use the right two lanes, pretty simple stuff. 

Something to keep in mind is you are allowed to go in and out of the normal travel lanes and express travel lanes as you please, as long as you are traveling legally and safely. That means use your turn signal.

“These lanes are doing their job,” Mitzner said.

Still, drivers need to be aware at all times. 

My advice is when out on the Beachline and you see the travel lanes, have the knowledge of where your destination is and the route you want to go. Knowing these things will allow you to make the proper decision of what travel lanes you want to use. 

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