Tampa's Leroy Selmon Expressway Goes Electronic, Get Your SunPass

On a "Save on Tolls" website, former football defensive end Hall of Famer Leroy Selmon says he never liked quarterbacks. So now he's telling commuters how to "get their quarter back."

The Leroy Selmon Expressway is going electronic in September 2010, according to Sue Chrzan at the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority. "It looks like everything will be in place by Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, so that we are ready for the Monday morning commute," she says.

The expressway, which runs from the Gandy Bridge in South Tampa to the Brandon Town Center, is being outfitted with equipment and cameras, and its toll booths are being demolished to accommodate a smoother commute for drivers. Commuters with a SunPass transponder will save a quarter at each electronic tolling point.

On the Save on Tolls website, Selmon, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and restauranteur, explains the benefits of an all-electronic tolling system along his signature road. He says those benefits include savings on time, gas and emissions as well as decreased accidents due to slowed traffic at toll booths. Those without a transponder will be billed through toll-by-plate technology, through which gantry-mounted cameras will take a picture of a vehicle's license plate as it passes through the tolling point. The bill will be sent to the address on the vehicle's registration.

According to Chrzan, it was a good time to go electronic because existing cash and electronic equipment needed to be replaced. Chrzan says less than 25 percent of Selmon Expressway drivers paid cash, which is a costly way to collect tolls.

Commuters who buy a SunPass mini-transponder online or at Publix or CVS for $4.99 and deposit $10 into their account will get a $4.99 credit. The pass is good statewide.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Sue Chrzan, Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority
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