FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. Department of Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Transportation Washington, D.C. 20590 Downey Inaugurates Innovative Florida Value Pricing Project U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Mortimer L. Downey today inaugurated service at the Lee County Variable Pricing Project, a federally-funded initiative to reduce rush hour congestion by offering toll bridge discounts to drivers who travel outside of rush hour. President Clinton supports innovative strategies to help communities make the most of their existing roads and bridges, Downey said. The drivers who travel during those non-rush hour periods will save money, and those who still need to travel during rush hour will save time because of reduced traffic. That's what I call a win-win proposition. Starting today, tolls on the Cape Coral and Midpoint Memorial bridges, which connect Fort Myers and Cape Coral, will be discounted 50 percent weekdays during the times of 6:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., and 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Value Pricing Pilot Program, which supports innovative market-based strategies to reduce congestion, is providing $16 million in federal funds, matched by $4 million in Florida state and Lee County funds, to pay for electronic toll collection equipment and other project costs. Downey was joined by local leaders, including Lee County Commissioners John Albion, Andrew Coy, and Douglas St. Cerny. In order to let them use the toll discounts and commute outside of rush hour, Lee County government employees will be able to adopt compressed work weeks, flextime, and other alternative work schedules. The shift to alternative work weeks not only reduces traffic congestion, but it's also family-friendly, said Commissioner Albion, enabling workers to arrange their schedules to meet child care needs and all the other demands today's hard-working families face.