For over three years Roll Back Tolls has lead the charge in asking Sun Pass, the electronic road toll collection agency, to update it’s system to modern standards. As a high tech company, they should not have any barriers to providing better transparency and full cost disclosure to users.
Sun Pass users should easily know exactly how much they are actually spending in tolls on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
Stop Dumbing It Down
Remember the original Sun Pass transponder that beeped every time you paid a toll and showed the amount of the toll on a LED screen? You could even see your current balance right from the transponder. Call me old school, but I like knowing how much I’m paying for something. The modern Sun Pass transponders don’t beep and do not give any information like the original did and this is where the problem exist. Today, we know exactly how much we are paying for everything. Go to Publix and by a gallon of milk, bam, there’s the price. Receive your property tax statement, you get a line by line detailed explanation. But travel on most toll roads in Florida like the Turnpike and you are left guessing how much you just paid. Next time you take the Turnpike to Disney in Orlando or down to Homestead see if you can easily find out how much you just paid in tolls. Heres a hint, you’ll need a calculator and access to your Sun Pass account.
Neither the Sun Pass App or the on-line account give you a running total of how much you spent in tolls. It does give you the individual cost of each toll but no total. You literally have to add it up yourself if you want to get a total. Why? Is Sun Pass afraid that people may alter their driving habits if they actually knew how much they are paying? Users have a right to know in an easy modern manor how much they are paying.
Our suggestions for a better user experience.
Update the Sun Pass app and on-line account system to give users the option of receiving an e-mail summary of usage. This could be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The email should give the total paid in tolls for the selected time period. This could also be sent to users via text message when users are not driving. Todays mobile devices can detect when you are stationary and not moving at a high rate of speed.
New users should be given the choice to opt-into receiving this information.
When these updates are implemented, hopefully sooner than later, all Sun Pass users should be notified of these new options and should be allowed to opt-in for this information.
If Sun Pass tolling is going to be the method of choice for paying for transportation infrastructure in Florida then we need to know how much we are actually paying.