Free rides in fast lanes coming to an end for hybrid drivers


The Florida Department of Transportation plans to end free rides for registered hybrid vehicles using the I-95 express lanes in 2017.

To be perfectly honest, Bobby Wells, a Harley-riding, python-owning Miami lawyer, doesn’t really like his Toyota Prius.

But he does love that red and blue “95 Express” registration decal on the bottom left of his hybrid car’s windshield.

“Yeah,” said Wells, “the reason I bought this car was to get that sticker.”

I-95’s express lanes — where the price of admission ranges from 50 cents to $10.50 depending on traffic — are free to registered hybrids. But that’s not going to last forever.

In about three years, the free rides will be over. And Wells will almost certainly be done with his Prius.

As of May, Wells’ Prius and 3,840 other hybrid or inherently low-emission vehicles, or ILEVs, were registered for free express trips. Those vehicles made up 63 percent of all exempt trips, up from 56 percent a year ago. By comparison, registered carpools, which also ride the express lanes for free, represent just 13 percent of cost-free trips. Buses, van pools and motorcycles account for the rest.

The increasing popularity of hybrids has been a concern for the Florida Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over I-95.

Read the full story at

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category