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CONTACT: Kris Cella Cella & Associates, Inc. 239.337.1071 kcella@cella.cc

LeeWay Asks, “Help Us With Our Telephone Survey”

3+ Axle Vehicles will be Eligible for Electronic Toll Collection and Variable Pricing December 1, 2003 And Purchase of Truck Tickets to be Discontinued December 1, 2003 Fort Myers, FL, November 6, 2003 – LeeWay and the Lee County Department of Transportation announced today they will offer LeeWay’s Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) and Variable Pricing to trucks with three or more axles beginning December 1, 2003. The LeeWay system is a way to pay tolls electronically and eliminate the need for truck tickets or cash. Previously, variable pricing has only been available to two-axle vehicles but a $1.2 million grant received from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has made it possible for Lee County to make the necessary changes to the toll plazas to allow multi-axle (3 or more axles) vehicles to participate in this successful program. Carol Goldwasser, Lee County Tolls Director, said “this means 3+ axle vehicles will now be able to pay half price tolls when they use the Cape Coral and Midpoint bridges (Sanibel does not currently have variable pricing) during Variable Pricing hours – a potentially great savings for frequent bridge users.” The electronic toll collection system will automatically discount those trips by 50 percent. Currently, many operators are purchasing truck tickets for use on the county’s bridges. ETC will eliminate the need for truck tickets and allow vehicles to pass more quickly through the attended lanes. To be eligible for electronic toll collection, operators must purchase a transponder and establish a LeeWay prepaid toll account. Tolls will be automatically deducted from LeeWay accounts as vehicles travel through the toll facility. The system counts bridge usage and keeps a running balance. Monthly statements are available for a nominal fee. Effective December 1, 2003, truck tickets will not longer be available for sale. Tickets previously purchased will be honored through December 31, 2004, but operators are encouraged to purchase a transponder, establish a prepaid toll account, and begin enjoying the benefits of ETC and variable pricing right away. Returned truck tickets will be credited to your newly established LeeWay account. Multi-axle vehicles will still be required to use the attended lanes on all bridges. However, the new Cape Coral Toll Plaza will be complete in winter 2005, with 2 express lanes in each direction. At that time, 3+ axle vehicles will be permitted to use all lanes on both the Cape Coral and Midpoint Memorial bridges. In the future the Sanibel Toll Plaza will also be replaced and allow for 3+ axle vehicles in all lanes.  Beginning next week, LeeWay representatives will be contacting toll bridge users with multi-axle trucks to inquire about their interest in the LeeWay Variable Pricing program. Lee County is encouraging the businesses contacted to take a few minutes to answer the questions. The FHWA Grant outlines the need for statistical information from the users of the bridge and it will be very helpful to Lee County if the companies contacted will participate.