Now that FDOT(Florida Dept of Transportation) has suckered everyone into getting a Sun Pass with the promise of saving money, the Florida senate wants to end the discount benefit to fill the budget short fall. Drivers may soon be leaned upon to help pay for the mistakes and short falls of the state government.
In effect this is a toll rate increase, plain and simple. Turnpike officials estimate that the elimination of the Sun Pass discount could cost the average commuter that used the turnpike an additional $125.00 per year!
Is this really what it seems? Are they doing it to fill in the holes of the state budget? Or are they making up for the fact that since eliminating toll collectors and going to the Toll By Plate system they will be un able to collect a portion toll bills? In effect by going to the toll by plate system, both FDOT(Floirda Department of Transportation and MDX(Miami Dade Expressway Authority) have extended credit to those drives that previously paid cash. This was a bad move, especially in a down economy. In time, we believe this will prove to have been a sizeable blunder for both FDOT and MDX. The concerns about collecting from past due toll by plate users is already evident at MDX board meetings by the amount of time they spend talking about it.
Our concern is that over time MDX may want to make up for the shortfall in collections by increasing toll rates. I’m not Nostradamus, but you can see the writing on the wall. And our argument would be, how could they even conceive of asking the responsible toll payers that signed up for Sun Pass and pay their way, to also make up for dead beat drivers. Especially when MDX was the first agency to extend credit to non Sun Pas drivers instead of collecting the cash! It’s not a reality yet. But, folks, remember you heard it here first.
We urge you to contact your state representatives and tell them “hell no!” to eliminating the Sun Pass discount! We don’t want our toll dollars to go towards paying for state budget short falls (if this is what it’s really for) . Toll revenue should only be used for maintaining the existing turnpike/roads. That’s what we’re paying for.
Co-chair, Roll Back Tolls
*tollation; excessive tolling without representation