Friday, 22 July 2011

Florida moves forward to more electronic free flow tolling

Florida Turnpike’s Homestead extension went all electronic earlier this year according to the Miami Herald. 80% of users were already paying using the DRSC/tag and beacon “Sunpass” system (which is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation and usable on 600 miles of toll roads in the state). Those not equipped will have their number plates detected using ANPR technology, which when matched to vehicle ownership databases, will see a bill sent in the mail to the registered owner, with a US$2.50 surcharge. This is obviously intended to incentivise greater takeup of the Sunpass. The Florida's Turnpike Enterprise and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority are seeking to convert all toll roads in southern Florida to be electronic free flow to reduce operating costs, congestion at toll booths and accidents from vehicles at toll plazas.

So far the following toll roads have gone electronic free flow:
- Homestead extension;

To convert in the next three years are:

What more can be said but to encourage Florida to continue joining the 21st century with modern tolling technology. What may be more interesting is seeing how easily they can enforce out of state vehicles that fail to pay tolls. That is perhaps one of the biggest risks for some states, which for south Florida is unlikely to be a significant issue.

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