Southern leg of Florida’s Turnpike goes cashless

| 2/9/2011

Toll collection on the 47-mile Homestead Extension of Florida?s Turnpike is going cashless this month, meaning users can either pay using SunPass or have a bill mailed to them through the toll-by-plate photo system.

Spokeswoman Sonyha Rodriguez-Miller recommends that any frequent visitor to southern Florida obtain a SunPass transponder. At the time of the changeover to a cashless system, 80 percent of turnpike drivers were SunPass account holders.

?If you happen to get on the Turnpike, and you do not have a SunPass account, we have an alternative method that?s called toll-by-plate. When you go under the gantries, a picture of the license plate, front and back, is taken and an invoice is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.?

Invoices are mailed out on a 30-day cycle and there is an administrative fee of $2.50 that accompanies each invoice.

The Homestead Extension, serving Broward and Miami-Dade counties, is the only highway in the southern part of Florida that allows tandem trailers, making it a frequently traveled truck route, Rodriguez-Miller said.

Expect some travel disruptions late on Friday, Feb. 18 and into Saturday, Feb. 19. By the end of that weekend, each of the extension?s 37 toll gantries will be converted to the cashless system, Rodriguez-Miller said.

?Pay attention to the signs and drive with caution that weekend. Essentially this is going to be a 47-mile construction zone until it is completed,? she said.