Florida’s Turnpike going cashless; online comments accepted

| 11/16/2009

Cash tolls would be eliminated on portions of Florida’s Turnpike during a switch to video tolling in 2011. Public comments about the “Toll-by-Plate” proposal will be accepted during an online meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 17, and by e-mail until Dec. 1.

The implementation of video tolling means that cash payments will no longer be accepted on the southernmost 47 miles of the Mainline in Miami-Dade County as well as the Beachline, Polk Parkway, Sawgrass Expressway, Southern Connector Extension, Seminole Expressway, Suncoast Parkway, Veterans Expressway and a segment of the Western Beltway. The transition is currently scheduled to take place in February 2011. The state plans to extend cashless operations to I-595 in Ft. Lauderdale in 2014.

In some cases, the “Toll-by-Plate” rate will simply replace the cash toll, but in other cases the result will be a toll increase. SunPass rates will remain the cheapest option for turnpike users according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

An example of the change is the Okeechobee Plaza on the Homestead Extension, where the current cash toll of $4 for a five-axle commercial vehicle will disappear and the new video toll will be $5. The SunPass rate at that interchange will stay at $4.

Click here for instructions to participate in the online meeting. The session begins at 6 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday.

If you do not have access to the Web, you can participate at one of the following locations:

  • Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise Headquarters Auditorium, Turnpike Mile Post 263, Building 5315, Ocoee, FL 34761;
  • Florida Department of Transportation, District 4 Auditorium, 3400 W. Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309;
  • Florida Department of Transportation, District 7 Auditorium, 11201 N. Malcolm McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612;
  • Snapper Creek Service Plaza, Materials Lab Training Room, Mile Post 19, Florida’s Turnpike, Miami, FL 33186; and
  • Florida Department of Transportation, District 1, Mike Rippe Auditorium, 801 N. Broadway, Bartow, Florida 33831.

Additional information about the video tolling proposal is available here. Materials include a copy of the rule change as proposed and a schedule of toll rates.

Public comments will be accepted by e-mail until Dec. 1, 2009. Direct those to Sonyha Rodriguez‐Miller, Turnpike public information officer, sonyha.rodriguez‐miller@dot.state.fl.us.

– By David Tanner, staff writer