Veterans Expressway goes cash-less in Hillsborough County

Toll booth no longer to except cash or change

Stretches of the Veterans Expressway in Hillsborough County made the transition from cash to no-cash tolls Friday.
It’s part of a move to eliminate toll booths and speed up traffic.
Rafael Zuniga is a SunPass user. Daily commutes from New Port Richey to work made purchasing the prepaid pass a no-brainer.
"With the SunPass you’re going to be saving 30 cents a toll," Zuniga said.
He feels the same way about nixing cash and change.
"I think the big deal is the time,” Zuniga said. “Even though they tell you the toll is coming up, you’re not ready for it. You’re looking for change, and then that starts backing up."
Officials hope that eliminating the need to stop will help improve the traffic flow.
Overnight construction crews will begin tearing down tollbooths at the Anderson mainline toll plaza and the Waters and Hillsborough Avenue plazas.
Toll booths at Hutchinson Road, Sugarwood mainline, and Gunn Highway will remain open through late summer.
"It’s going to be a good deal,” Stephen Lefstead said. “It’s going to save time."
Lefstead also uses the Veterans Expressway every week and is amped to cut a little time off his commute.
"Now you won’t have to slow down for that area. I’m thinking you could go through that area a little faster," Lefstead said.
SunPass owners won’t notice any change. People without a SunPass will get a bill in the mail.
That "pay by plate" notice will also include an extra $2.50 monthly administration fee.
With more than 80 percent of Veterans Expressway drivers already using a SunPass, Zuniga has no doubt about the plan’s success.
"It’s a great idea. Should have done it sooner," said Zuniga.
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