2 years later: FDOT officials reflect on how I-4 express lanes have impacted travel

ORLANDO, Fla. — Monday marks two years since the I-4 Express Lanes opened in Central Florida.


Florida Department of Transportation leaders have recorded 30 million trips, and ridership continues to increase.

Only Channel 9′s Alexa Lorenzo rode along with FDOT to see how the express lanes impact LYNX ridership and reduce crashes along I-4.

Cindi Lane of FDOT Communications said fewer delays mean their routes can stay on time.

Read: How Orlando’s park under Interstate 4 could expand business, foot traffic downtown

The bus from the LYNX Central Station in downtown Orlando is one of several LYNX services using the lanes for more reliable rides.

Lane said they’ve seen an increase in ridership, up to 51% on weekdays and a 69% increase on Saturdays.

And it’s not just riders reaping the benefits - more drivers are now using I-4 Express.

“Just in the last few months of data, we found that we have 56,000 drivers using I-4 Express every day,” Lane said. “And that’s definitely an increase of what we saw when we first started and even over a year ago.”

Read: ‘The Canopy’: $30M 10-acre park to be built beneath I-4 in downtown Orlando

I-4 Express has played an important role in improving safety. Less congestion means vehicles have more space on the highway.

Since the opening of I-4 Express, FDOT said crashes have decreased by 48%, and lane-blocking incidents have dropped by 63%.

It’s also been a time saver; the average driver saves 5 minutes on their westbound trip and 4 minutes on eastbound.

Read: What’s next for Orlando’s Wekiva Parkway, I-4 Express expansion and other FDOT projects

Since opening, the price for I-4 express has remained at 50 cents per tolling segment.

FDOT announced that as an introductory rate and said they would eventually transition to dynamic tolling, where pricing would be adjusted based on traffic volumes to ease congestion.

FDOT leaders have started construction on extending the westbound express lanes from where they end near Sand Lake near Disney.

They plan to start construction on additional express lanes in both directions through Osceola County next year.

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