You won’t find as many toll booths the River City as you once would. Good riddance! I remember driving to Jacksonville from my hometown of Ocala, Florida, during the summer of 1987. I easily recall the frustration of waiting in the long line of traffic at a Fuller Warren Bridge toll booth, located on the bridge’s western end. And I remember that, right before passing through the booth, realizing how I might not have the correct change to toss into the automated collection basket.
Toll booths used to bedevil Jacksonville drivers. What was their purpose? To help finance the local expressway system, which was begun during the 1950s. At times, though, tollbooth traffic snarls took the “express” out of “expressway.”
In 1988, Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Hazouri turned his attention to the dilemma. He spearheaded a spirited campaign to eliminate toll collection at the city’s bridges. This led to a change to a half-cent sales tax as a revenue source for the JTA (Jacksonville Transit Authority). Funds from the tax are spent on local road & bridge construction and on bus system improvements.
–written by Glenn Emery