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Toll relief program will not impact Southwest Florida

Posted at 8:52 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 05:09:46-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — During a press conference, two days after the primary election heading towards November, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he plans to use some of the state's record high surplus to reduce toll costs for drivers who have a SunPass.

The program is called the "SunPass Saving Program" and DeSantis said this program was created to keep more money in Floridians' pockets.

Unfortunately, it will not impact any parts of Southwest Florida.

“The tolls are crazy, and we are constantly driving over the bridges between me running errands and my husband’s job, we are constantly using the bridge twice a day, three times a day,” said a mother of two and a LeeWay pass customer. “We’re good at budgeting, my husband is good with numbers, but it’s still a high cost.”

A scenario that seems to be unavoidable for Floridians, paying for tolls to live in the Sunshine State.

“If you look at it across the state, you have people who have to commute, and this adds up every single day to be doing those charges,” said Governor DeSantis.

So how will this work? For SunPass customers with at least 40 paid transactions, a month will get a 20 percent credit to their SunPass account. Customers with 80 or more paid transactions will receive a 25 percent credit each month.

However, to qualify, the driver must travel the turnpike system and Florida Department of Transportation Toll facilities.

“It’s not all controlled by the state," DeSantis said.

The Governor added that certain toll services were not included in the relief program for immediate relief because his office only has the authority to provide this relief to the turnpike system and FDOT facilities which are owned by the state.

“Yeah…it’s not helpful," the LeeWay customer said with a laugh. "I don’t know how else to explain that. The prices of everything has gone up: groceries, everything, so with a family and having children having that discount would have been extremely helpful.”

We reached out to the governor's office to see if there are any plans in the future for Southwest Florida. Their response:

“To offer this relief even more broadly, the governor also proposed legislative action in next year’s session that would include other toll facilities. Additionally, Governor DeSantis called on the Legislature to take necessary action during next year’s legislative session so more Florida families can benefit from toll relief.”
Governor Ron DeSantis Office

The spokeswoman for Lee County also stated that although the LeeWay pass is not included there are a few programs that can help customers. Click here for more information.