The Tampa Bay Times editorial board applauds the Florida legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis for appropriating $500 million to fund the program that will reduce by half the transponder account charges frequent tollway customers incur during 2023. “Yes, the toll relief could cause some people to drive more, which isn’t great for the environment or our roads,” the editors write. “But the state is flush with money, and many Floridians are not. Giving some of it back to residents in the form of toll relief will help them cope with the higher costs for food and housing.”
Orlando Sentinel notes that the program’s benefits will extend to customers of regional and local toll agencies, as well as motorists who use state-owned facilities. Michelle Maikisch, chief of staff at one of those agencies, the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX), estimates that just 13 percent of its 1.3 million E-PASS account holders will be eligible to receive monthly discounts. Nevertheless, she says CFX is “excited” about the program and looks forward to working with the state on implementation.