The Interstate 95 Express in Miami - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Travelling
The Interstate 95 is a fast and very busy road, which connects Fort Lauderdale to Miami. When travelling from Orlando, via the Turnpike, to Miami Airport it is the road which joins the Turnpike. During peak hours it can become grid-locked, so a new Express facility has been added recently.
Once called the HOV lane – High Occupancy Vehicles – and available to any car which was transporting 2 or more people, or those who were part of a car share – this lane ran parallel to the main Interstate 95 until a few miles outside Miami when it sheared off to the left, over an elevated section, bypassing the busiest section of this road. It was an absolute boon in times of high volumes of traffic. It was also free.
However, this lane has now been re-vamped, as the 95 Express. It has also become a toll road, with tolls payable by transponder – there are no toll booths to pay when you enter the lanes. All tolls must be paid automatically, and those who enter the lanes without paying face fines. Whilst once open, this Express road now has movable barriers, giving flexible lane configurations, between two and three lanes, according to the volume of traffic. The Express lanes are monitored continuously to allow constant information about how many vehicles are using the express lane, how close together the vehicles are, and how fast they are going. This information is then used to determine how high or low the toll should be, and the rate is then shown on overhead gantry signs clearly displayed at all the entry points.
In times of low volume the toll can be as little as 25c, rising to $3. 50 as demand, and congestion, increase. Should the lanes become grid-locked, the tolls can rise to as much as $7. This ‘Dynamic Tolling’ is essential to maintaining this part of the I-95 as a fast route. The main objective of the 95 Express is to encourage people to car pool, thus increasing the number of people in each vehicle, and encouraging the largest number of people in the smallest number of vehicles. Reducing the number of cars using the roads is essential to maintaining the speed and safety of this important roadway, and to improving mobility for drivers by reducing congestion.
Tolls are collected electronically using Sun Pass transponders fitted to each vehicle – without one you cannot enter the Express line without incurring a fine. These transponders are available in several places, such as Turnpike Service Plazas, Publix supermarkets and CVC Pharmacies, and must be displayed at all times. To reduce the number of large vehicles using the Express lanes no trucks with 3 or more axles are allowed to use them, even if they pay the toll.
The 95 Express on the northbound side of Miami begins on the left hand side of the road, adjacent to signs for exit 6A, soon after leaving the 112. There are poles barricading it for the whole of its 7 mile stretch, so once you are on it there is no way off until the Golden Glades Interchange. If you enter by mistake you have no option but to continue to the end.
If your hire car has a transponder fitted then you will be able to make use of this useful facility, and hopefully you will be able to watch the slower moving traffic to your right as you speed along this special lane.
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