This past Tuesday evening I spoke before the MDX board of directors. I expressed many of the concerns from the toll paying community that we have heard in these past 6 months. Specifically from our area of southwest Miami-Dade where many feel they are expected to pay excessively high toll rates compared to other residents in other parts of the county.
I presented our idea of rolling back toll rates and was informed after the meeting that this idea would not be possible because of the repayment structure of the municipal bonds that MDX is committed to paying back. Well, if we can’t get a fair deal by requesting a roll back to toll rates, then we will work to make sure MDX does not materialize reasons or excuses to increase toll rates beyond the excessively high rates that we are presently paying.
The reality of MDX offering any customer discount would have to come from “non-toll’ revenue sources. One idea that MDX is considering is selling the naming rights to the highways to generate money that could be used for this purpose. Actually, this idea could potentially generate millions of dollars for a customer discount program. We like it. So it is possible that in the near future the 874 could be re-branded as the “Progressive Insurance Highway” or something like that. This has been talked about for years and I was encouraged to see the board finally make a conclusive decision to initiate action on this idea.
Additionally I was encouraged by the efforts of MDX to work with FDOT(Florida Dept. of Transportation) to bring about MDX’s access to the Sun Pass customer database for better communications with the public. I voiced our concern that much of the public is not represented at many MDX and FDOT meetings and public workshops. To which the board took a personal offense. After my presentation I was verbally reminded that the members of the board are toll payers too. And that they are volunteer appointees that do not get compensated for their time and efforts with MDX. I would like to personally apologize to any board member that was offended by my comments. What I meant to say is that more efforts need to be made to physically get more people from the public to attend MDX and DOT meetings. And we feel strongly that MDX’s access to the Sun Pass customer e-mail and text message data base would accomplish this. So DOT and MDX, let’s make this happen before June of this year, please!
In closing I would like to encourage your comments and suggestions. We are here to listen to all sides and opinions.
Co-chair of RollBackTolls.com/Non-paid public advocate