ORLANDO, Fla. - The long-awaited I-4 Express lanes could open by the end of the month, but the big question is: how much will it cost people to drive in the fast lane?
Even the Florida Department of Transportation seems unsure of how much drivers could be paying. FDOT told FOX 35 it is a variable toll and it will ultimately be determined by traffic and demand.
I-4 is the bane of Central Florida’s existence.
"I think the traffic here’s almost worse than South Florida," said Stephanie Hills, who lives in Orlando.
"It takes hours to get home and to work," said Annette Corchado, who lives in Orlando.
FDOT hopes its new Express lanes will relieve some stress and time. But you’ll have to pay.
To start, FDOT says it’ll cost drivers 50 cents a mile. That comes to $3 westbound or $3.50 eastbound to drive the entire length of I-4 Express. But this is just the pricing for an introductory period.
Once that period is over, it’s unclear exactly how much it’ll cost to drive. FDOT says it’s variable and all depends on the amount of traffic.
"I think they will have to disclose that, before anything, before anyone can make a decision, right?" said Corchado.
Not necessarily. FDOT says the more people using the Express lanes, the more traffic there is and the higher the pricing will go. If traffic is light in those lanes, the prices will drop.
"That’s a bit confusing so I’m hoping that they have posted all the time," said Brian Hill, who lives in Orlando.
Drivers we spoke with are split on whether they’ll pay for the Express lanes.
"I don’t plan on using it. We used to live in South Florida in the Miami area where they’ve had those express lanes for a while, and sometimes they seem more crowded than the regular lanes," said Hills.
"Some people just want to express right through like me. And other people don’t. I just want to get through Orlando as fast as possible," said Hill.
"Depending on how far I’m going. Thirty minutes saved could be worth $10, but if I’m saving five minutes for the same price, it’s not worth it," said Geoff Straubinger, who lives in Orlando.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest launch updates.