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Toll booth attendants returning in Orlando

Change booths have been closed since March 19 due to coronavirus concerns.

Central Florida Expressway Authority toll booth attendants known for their colorful ware and change for a fiver, are heading back to work next week.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority announced the latest return to normalcy Wednesday with news that it will repopulate the change-only toll lane booths along its toll roads throughout Orange and Osceola counties at 1 a.m. Monday.

CFX closed all its cash lanes on March 19 to reduce potential exposure between drivers and employees to the COVID-19 virus. The agency, which operates 125 miles of toll roads, 17 mainline toll plazas, and 74 ramp toll plazas, had switched over to a license plate tolling system known as “Pay By Plate.”

The agency also will resume full operation of its drive-up customer service “Reload Lanes,” on State Road 408 at the Conway toll plaza, on State Road 417 at the John Young Parkway toll plaza, and on State Road 429, at the Forest Lake Main toll plaza. Those lanes will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday.

Cash paying drivers will again pay tolls to attendants in staffed toll booths and will no longer receive an invoice in the mail for tolls paid on or after June 1.

E-PASS customers will see no impact to their day-to-day travel.  Tolls will post electronically to their accounts, per usual operations.

CFX officials still are encouraging all drivers to open an E-PASS account to avoid stopping in the cash collection lanes and to pay the lowest toll rate. CFX is offering free E-PASS toll stickers for all customers who open a prepaid toll account.

The toll-road agency vowed to continue to take every precaution to safeguard employees and the traveling public from the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring all toll attendants wear masks and gloves and by following guidelines set forth by the state of Florida, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local health officials.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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