Friday, May 6, 2016

Travel Tales: Florida Sunpass

SunPass logo
SunPass logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last summer I had the opportunity to vacation in Florida. I usually avoid the Florida Turnpike when I travel, but I decided to use it this time because it provided the most efficient way to reach one of my destinations. When I looked at the toll card, I noticed some of the exits were missing. I called a friend for an explanation and found out about the Florida SunPass.

(Photo Credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)
Passes that are used at toll booths are not anything new. Those drivers who frequently travel toll roads use the passes and save money by doing so. I have never been in that situation. Without the SunPass I was limited as to what exits I could use. Only a few had personnel attending them and in the future no one will be working at the booths. I stopped at a travel plaza and purchased the mini sticker transponder for $4.99 plus tax. The sticker is placed on the inside on the windshield just below the rearview mirror. Another transponder was available for $19.99, but I did not want to spend that much. After I purchased it, I found drivers must set up an account online. This account needs a minimum balance of $10. I had no way to set up the account while I was on the turnpike, so I looked for the next manned toll booth and then took the back roads to my destination.

(Photo Credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)
I later found out that many of the Florida toll roads use this system and more will be added soon. Travelers to the Orlando area will need the pass for the myriad of toll roads. Other agencies that use the SunPass are: Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, Bay Harbor Islands, Venetian Causeway, Santa Rosa Bay Bridge Authority, Mid-Bay Bridge Authority, LeeWay Service Center, Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, Central Florida Expressway Authority, Osceola Parkway, NC QuickPass, and Peach Pass.

Travelers should check any area where they will be visiting to find whether a toll pass would be beneficial. For those who visit an area frequently, having the pass would be better than scrambling for exact change at the booth. That is always a pain.

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