Economy affecting Florida toll road traffic

| 8/11/2008

A regional tolling authority in Orange County, FL, is experiencing a slowdown in traffic and revenue this summer.

Officials with the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, which operates four toll roads totaling 161 miles, reported that traffic decreased 4.6 percent and revenue decreased 5.4 percent for the month of June compared with June 2007. May numbers were also down.

“If you look across Orlando area roads, traffic is certainly down,” Expressway Spokeswoman Lindsay Hodges told Land Line.

“One can assume gas prices have some impact as consumers combine trips to conserve and employers offer opportunities to telecommute or work a four-day workweek.”

The Expressway Authority operates State Roads 528, 408, 417 and 429. Hodges said tolls have not increased on the system since the early 1990s.

This year to date since January, traffic on the Expressway system has increased by 1.65 percent but that figure was lower than projected. Year-to-date revenue was up 2 percent but that was 2.28 percent below what officials projected.

Click here to view the authority’s statistical reports.

Other routes around the country have experienced similar declines, including toll roads in Maine and North Texas.

A spokesman for the Maine Turnpike Authority said toll traffic was down 2 percent compared with early summer of 2007.

The North Texas Tollway Authority experienced a decrease 2.3 percent in June compared with June 2007.

– By David Tanner, staff writer