What are express lanes?
Express lanes are optional travel lanes, located on an interstate or toll road, that customers can choose to use when they want a more predictable travel time. Customers will have plenty of time to decide whether to pay the toll to use 295 Express or to use the general use lanes. The toll amount for the express lanes will be posted on the toll rate signs overhead (as shown below) prior to entering the lanes.
Who will own the express lanes and maintain them?
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) owns and operates all aspects of the express lanes.
When will the 295 Express open?
- I-295 between SR 9B and J. Turner Butler Boulevard: Fall 2020
Duval County voted to remove all tolls in favor of a half a percent increase on the sales tax. Why are tolls coming back?
The previous tolls located on Interstate 95, the Arlington and Hart expressways and J. Turner Butler Boulevard were enacted by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). When JTA was established by state statute in 1955 (as the Jacksonville Expressway Authority), their first mission was to build and expand the expressway system through the greater Jacksonville area. In 1971 at the City of Jacksonville’s request, they added mass transit to their list of responsibilities.
In 1988, again at the city’s request, JTA agreed to remove its toll booths in exchange for receiving a voter-approved transportation sales surtax of one-half of one percent on taxable sales in Duval County. This sales surtax revenue has been put to work by JTA to build roads and bridges in Duval County, to fund mass transit and to plan and design the future transportation facilities which have and will make possible the efficient movement of people and freight in and through Duval County and the surrounding counties.
For FDOT, the existing revenue from the gas tax and other revenue sources are not enough to keep up with the demand of transportation and infrastructure. The express lane tolls will only be added to new construction on existing roadways and not to the existing lanes. Motorists will have a choice to pay the toll or use the general use lanes.
All roadway improvements paid for by the sales tax will remain free.
What vehicles are eligible to use the express lanes?
Any two-axle vehicle equipped with an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponder can use the express lanes. Trucks with three or more axles and passenger vehicles pulling trailers or boats are not permitted.
What is the toll rate for the 295 Express?
There will be a set minimum toll price of $0.50 that will be charged only during weekday rush hour travel periods (6am - 10am and 3pm - 7pm). There will be no toll charged during non-rush hour travel periods. Customers should look at the toll amount signs overhead (as shown below) to see the cost of the express lanes prior to the express lanes entrance.
How do I pay my tolls in the express lanes?
Tolls will be collected electronically with an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponder (listed on SunPass.com
). Customers cannot pay for tolls in the express lanes using cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE, as they will be considered a violator and subject to additional fees.
Here’s how you can buy and activate a SunPass.
How will I know ahead of time what the toll will be so I can decide whether to use the lanes?
Before all express lane entrances, there will be electronic message signs showing the current toll price so you can choose to
use the express lanes or travel the general use lanes.
Will the tolls change while I am in the lane?
Upon entering the express lanes, you will pay the rate displayed on the sign until you reach the next decision point. You never will pay a higher toll amount than the rate you saw on the sign. If the toll decreases after you enter the express lanes, you will pay the lower amount.
Do any vehicles qualify for reduced tolls or exemptions in the express lanes?
Yes, the following vehicles qualify for a toll exemption on all of Florida’s Express Lanes, but they must first register and then renew annually:
- Express buses / public transit buses
- School buses
- Over-the-road buses
To register a qualifying vehicle, please visit here and fill out an application.
Are large trucks allowed to use the express lanes?
No, trucks with three or more axles and passenger vehicles pulling trailers or boats are not permitted.
Can I use my motorcycle on the express lanes?
Yes, motorcycles are permitted to use the express lanes if they have an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponder
Can mass transit buses use the express lanes?
Yes, JTA vehicles are permitted to use the express lanes. To register for an exemption, please visit here and fill out an application.
Does everyone who uses the express lanes need a SunPass?
Yes. You must pay for tolls using a SunPass. There will be no toll booths or Toll-by-Plate. All transponders issued by
Florida toll operators may be used on the express lanes (i.e. MDX, OOCEA, etc.)
What if I do not have an active SunPass or other interoperable transponder?
You should not enter the express lanes as you will be considered a violator and are subject to additional fees.
How do I get a SunPass?
Here’s how you can buy and activate a SunPass.
How are the express lanes enforced?
Tolls on express lanes are collected electronically. Customers must have an active, properly mounted SunPass or other interoperable transponder (listed online at SunPass.com). Special cameras are placed at each tolling point to capture an image of a vehicle’s license plate if an active transponder is not detected. A notice is then mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Is there a statute that allows FDOT to build toll roads?
Yes. Statute 338.151 states,
"338.151 Authority of the department to establish tolls on the State Highway System.—Notwithstanding s. 338.165(8),
the department may establish tolls on new limited access facilities on the State Highway System, lanes added to
existing limited access facilities on the State Highway System, new major bridges on the State Highway System
over waterways, and replacements for existing major bridges on the State Highway System over waterways to pay,
fully or partially, for the cost of such projects. Except for high-occupancy vehicle lanes, express lanes,
the turnpike system, and as otherwise authorized by law, the department may not establish tolls on lanes
of limited access facilities that exist on July 1, 2012, unless tolls were in effect for the lanes prior
to that date. The authority provided in this section is in addition to the authority provided under the
Florida Turnpike Enterprise Law and s. 338.166. History.—s. 22, ch. 2012-128; s. 41, ch. 2012-174."
How are the express lanes going to cross San Jose and Old St Augustine Road? Will those overpasses be widened?
San Jose Boulevard and St. Augustine Road bridges will be widened to the inside to accommodate the express lanes.
The express lanes will end approximately 1.5 miles prior to the flyover ramp to I-95 northbound. When exiting the express lanes,
drivers will have to negotiate two travel lanes to reach the flyover.