A Florida Toll Road Survival Guide
Florida. The Sunshine State. Famous for its beach resorts, amusement parks, the Florida Keys, and … alligator-riddled toll roads? No, we aren’t kidding (but we’ll come back to that).
Did you know that Florida has over 734 miles of toll roads? More than any other state in the US. So, if you're driving through Florida for work or vacation - you’ll want to make sure you know how to navigate these tolls to avoid fines (and alligators).
Here’s a crash course on how to navigate toll roads in Florida.
Major Toll Roads in Florida
As we mentioned, Florida has many toll roads. With around 120 million visitors to the sunny state every year, tolls are a way of making sure the traffic in Florida flows efficiently.
Toll roads allow you to reach those Florida beaches quicker!
Instead of covering every toll road in Florida (because none of us have time for that!) - we’ll just cover the major tolls and turnpikes you may drive on.
- Florida Turnpike (Mainline) - Also known as the Ronald Reagan Turnpike or the Less Stressway, the Florida Turnpike is the longest toll road in the state. This major tollway runs from just north of Orlando down to below Miami. Used by more than 3 million drivers daily, this toll road ensures that you can see more of what Florida has to offer, in less time.
- Alligator Alley - The one you’ve been waiting for. Alligator Alley is part of the I-75 and cuts directly across the state, connecting the east and west coasts. And yes! You’ll need to watch out for alligators! The road runs for 80 miles and is a popular route for driving to Miami Beach. The road is named after its surrounding swamps and Everglades, full of alligators. So, keep your eyes peeled. Oh, and as tempting as it may be to snag a quick photo - never get out of your car if you see one on the road!
- Seminole Expressway/SR 417 - This tollway forms the Eastern Beltway around the city of Orlando. It runs from the Seminole County Line in the North to Interstate 4 in Sandford. SR 417 is also a hurricane evacuation route, and plans are currently underway to widen part of the road from four to eight lanes.
- Martin Andersen Beachline Tollway (Beachline Expressway). Often used for traveling to the north entrance of Orlando International Airport, the East Coast beaches, and Cape Canaveral, this 41-mile expressway gets over 200,000 travelers each day. The roadway extends east from Interstate 4 across SR 417 and passes close to many tourist areas of Orlando, including Universal Studios.
So, who is Martin Andersen? He was a retired publisher who used his influence to build the original stretch of road in 1960.
- Veterans Expressway/Suncoast Parkway - This Florida toll road runs from downtown Tampa to US 98 in Hernando County. The road has recently been extended into Citrus, with further extensions coming over the next year. It is also set to be converted to an all-electronic tolling (AET) system - which means no more cash!
- Polk Parkway/Florida State Road 570 - Connecting major Polk county cities to each other and Interstate 4 east of Tampa, this toll road stretches for 24 miles. It mainly serves as a beltway, forming a semicircle around Lakeland.
Paying for Tolls in Florida
Many toll roads in Florida have gone cashless. This includes the Miami section of the Florida Turnpike and all tolls in Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast.
So, how do you pay for tolls in Florida?
Uproad is your best bet - the app is the most convenient way to pay for tolls.
Yes - we may be a little biased - but Uproad makes paying tolls super easy (as easy as Key Lime Pie!). Sign up, and you'll be ready to drive in 24 hours or less. You can use any form of payment - debit, credit, Venmo, PayPal, Google Pay or Apple Pay. And the best part - you can use Uproad in almost every state that has toll roads (19 states!) No more worrying about how you'll pay for tolls when you're on a roadtrip.
And the best part - all you need is your cell phone.
With transponder, you'll have to wait to get it in the mail, then wait to set up your account. You also won't be able to see all your transactions in real-time. And who wants to block the view from your windshield ;)
Download the Uproad app, set up your account, and you’re good to go! Hit the road and go see what Florida has to offer!
Paying Florida Tolls with a Rental Car
Most major rental car companies in Florida offer the option of paying tolls with a rental car SunPass transponder - but usually with lots of additional fees.
Make sure you read the fine print. Some rental car companies will charge you a daily fee - regardless of whether you use a toll road each day or not. Some rental car companies can charge an extra $5 a day for these fees.
Are there toll roads from Miami to Key West?
The quickest route from Miami International Airport to Key Largo, Key West, involves driving via the Ronald Reagan Turnpike - a paid toll road. The entire journey is about 70 miles and takes around an hour and a half.
If you want to avoid the toll road altogether, you can take the US-1 from Miami all the way to Key Largo.