FORT LAUDERDALE — If you plan to drive to Miami or the Florida Keys starting February 2011, get ready for big changes and easier travels when paying tolls on Florida’s Turnpike.
Beginning in mid-February, all Turnpike tolls will be collected electronically between Exit 47 and Exit 1 in Miami-Dade County. Motorists will use either SunPass, or TOLL-BY-PLATE, and everyone will pay tolls without having to stop.
Travelers will still be able to pay cash on all other segments of Florida’s Turnpike, from its northern point at I-75 in Wildwood to its junction with I-95 in north Miami-Dade.
SunPass is Florida’s prepaid electronic toll collection system. The system utilizes small, credit card size electronic devices, called SunPass transponders, which attach to the inside of car windshields. When a SunPass?equipped vehicle goes through a tolling location, the transponder sends a signal and the toll is deducted from the customer’s account.
TOLL-BY-PLATE is a toll collection method, for customers without SunPass, which takes a photo of a vehicle’s license plate as it travels under tolling equipment installed overhead and mails a bill for the tolls incurred over a 30-day period, plus a $2.50 administrative charge, to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Travelers also have the option of establishing a prepaid TOLL-BY-PLATE account by calling 1-888-TAG-TOLL and providing a credit or debit card, to avoid the administrative charge.
For those traveling in a rental vehicle, there is an easy and convenient way to pay tolls without stopping. Most rental car companies have programs that allow their customers to charge the tolls to the credit card being used to rent the vehicle. Motorists should check with their rental car company for details. For information about participating rental car companies, go to www.SunPass.com/rentalcar.
Removing cash toll collections will improve safety by eliminating driver decisions about lane choice. All-electronic toll collection is quicker and there are no lines. It also benefits the environment by reducing air pollution and fuel consumption.
While cash tolls will only be removed on the southern 47 miles of Florida’s Turnpike this coming February, the entire Turnpike system of roadways eventually will go to all-electronic tolling. It is anticipated the next phase, from the Golden Glades interchange in northern Miami-Dade County to the I-595 interchange in Broward County, will be ready in 2014.
SunPass is the most cost effective way to pay tolls electronically. Customers pay the lowest toll rates and generally save 25 percent on tolls, when compared to cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE customers.
The SunPass Mini transponder is pretty much free … costs $4.99 reimbursable as a toll credit when registering the SunPass account. It is available at Publix, CVS/pharmacy, Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Sedano’s Supermarkets, all AAA locations in Florida, all Turnpike service plaza gift shops and gas stations, www.SunPass.com and at 1-888-TOLL-FLA (865-5352).
Now more than ever, thanks to everyone paying tolls without stopping, Florida’s Turnpike is truly The Less Stressway.
For more details about the February 2011 launch of all-electronic open road tolling on the southern 47 miles of Florida’s Turnpike, go to www.FloridasTurnpike.com and click on the green “all?electronic” button or call 1-800-749-PIKE.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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