Florida: State of Tollation
“Welcome to Florida” says the sign on the south bound lanes of I-95 as you enter the state from Georgia. It should also remind drivers to bring their wallets, toll money and Sun Pass. More toll roads are being built here than any other state in the country. And our local and state officials are not asking for our input. Do they know something we don’t know?
The word we coined for this very situation is “tollation”; tolling with our representation. Just like our founding fathers felt that they we being taxed without representation so goes the Florida driver. We should not allow this and let our local and state elected officials look the other way.
Gas Tax + Tolls = Double Dipping
As more new and existing roads become toll roads our availability of non-toll road alternatives are slowly vanishing. We’ve heard it before from tolling agencies like MDX, Miami-Dade Exressway Authority, “If you don’t like paying tolls then take the free roads”. The only problem with that is that those “free” roads were not free at all. We pay gas taxes, license tag fees, auto sales taxes, etc. that paid for those “free” non-toll roads. So as a higher percentage of roads in our state become tolled, we must realize that we are paying double for access. Does anyone see a pattern here?
So is the state or federal government going to stop charging us gas tax every time we fill up at the pump? I think you know the answer to that one. So if more of the roads in Miami-Dade and across the state are becoming tolled, where is our choice? It’s either pony up and pay the toll trolls or opt for the slower surface streets and roads.
What Ever The Market Will Bear = Desperation Pricing
Should our county and state government be applying supply and demand business principles to our transportation system? We just saw the I-95 Express Lanes in Miami Dade go from a maximum, peak rate of $7.00 to a whopping $10.50!! Folks, forget about Lexus Lanes, we’re entering the “Lamborghini Lanes” pricing phase. All I want to know is what is it going to cost to take the full length of the Express Lanes when the Broward portion is finished. $20, $30 to go 12 miles? I know it sounds crazy, but that’s what we’re looking at. Who can afford this madness? Not me.
Toll Lanes Are Hot In Florida.
The Miami Herald recently ran a story on how the use of tolled roads are growing throughout the state.