School buses to ride free on Central Florida toll roads

- The Central Florida Expressway (CFX) has decided to allow school buses to use their toll roads without having to pay.  Because of bond covenant rules, the CFX cannot simply waive the tolls. They will have to collect them, and then rebate them to the seven counties with school districts in Central Florida. The idea is the brain child of Board Member and Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd who says Orange should put the money back into the coffers and help kids with it.

"It's going to provide them the opportunity to $200,000-$250,000 that they can invest right back into the kids, the schools, and the system itself."

The numbers are much smaller for Seminole County since they use a stretch of State Road 417 the most that is owned and controlled by the state. Still, Assistant Transportation Director Jackie Ensrud welcomed the move.

"We can take the revenue that we've been spending on our toll roads and put that back into buses. In a matter of a couple of years, that will buy us a new bus."

Commissioner Scott Boyd hopes there will also be a reduction of congestion on the surface streets.

"Some of our more urban areas for sure. They can jump on the system and ride a mile and a half, two miles down and jump off another exit instead of having to traipse around and having to go through other communities to get there, some of the local streets and that sort of thing."

The buses will be able to use CFX roads toll free beginning in February, but it has to be at a time when students are on those buses.

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