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Old 06-16-2011, 10:45 PM
 
8 posts, read 26,115 times
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I'm headed to St. Pete Beach (and a couple days in Orlando) next month. I'm renting a car through Thrifty. I got a big warning sign that many tollboths are not unmanned and it's best to rent a SunPass through them for something like $40. Um, no, I'm not paying $40 for 8 days worth of Sunpass

I will, however, be using the toll booths a lot, we're staying on Tierra Verde (just off Pinellas Bayway) so there's toll boths in either direction. Seeing as those are both headed to the beach, I'm assuming those will still be manned and I can pay cash.

We are also driving to Universal for a couple days, and I'm assuming there are plentiful tollbooths there as well.

Are the tollbooths in these very touristy areas manned? Is it best to pick up a mini sun pass? Can I just skip that stupid step and pay cash for my tolls?

Thanks in advance for the input!
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
618 posts, read 728,327 times
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The only tollbooths that I know of that do not have operators are along the Crosstown Expressway- which you shouldnt need to go on. You can definitely get to Universal from Pinellas without having to go through a tollbooth, just make sure you take I4 out there.

As for the Tierra Verde one, Im not 100% sure- but I think theres somebody there.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:07 PM
 
Location: just wandering around
8,267 posts, read 8,009,632 times
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Edit: I goofed, but I won't delete my post. I can admit when I'm wrong. (just be gentle. lol) The change was earlier in 2011.

Sun Pass - No Cash? How is this going to work?

Even if they're not manned, why can't you toss in the correct change? Just go to the bank and get a roll of quarters. Maybe I'm confused, but I never heard of anyone being required to get a SunPass. The warnings are to tell you to keep enough change in your car to pay the tolls in case nobody is available to collect your money and make change.

If something is different now, will someone please let me know. Thanks. I've traveled all over Florida and often exited a highway where the gate wasn't manned. Just be prepared to pay the toll. Whatever you do, don't use the lane for the SunPass if you don't have one!

I came back to post this link about paying tolls in Florida.

Florida's Turnpike - The Less Stressway™ | Traveler Information | Toll Violations

It just hit me that the OP said she's renting a car. Okay, now I know why you got a big warning. The rental car companies don't want their customers running toll booths because they get hit with the fines. They probably charge rental customers a premium too! Anyway, the best thing to do is just have change and not worry about taking alternate routes.

Enjoy your vacation!

Last edited by justNancy; 06-16-2011 at 11:57 PM..
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
618 posts, read 728,327 times
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Most tollroads do still have that option...but the new thing is like on the Crosstown where they have taken out ALL tollbooths and you have 2 options either 1) use a Sunpass or 2) they take a picture of your tag and send you a bill in the mail. You dont even have to stop or slow down...theres just a row of cameras above the road.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:28 PM
 
Location: just wandering around
8,267 posts, read 8,009,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdubose View Post
Most tollroads do still have that option...but the new thing is like on the Crosstown where they have taken out ALL tollbooths and you have 2 options either 1) use a Sunpass or 2) they take a picture of your tag and send you a bill in the mail. You dont even have to stop or slow down...theres just a row of cameras above the road.
Interesting. Thanks. I didn't realize they removed the option of paying without a SunPass.

That's ridiculous, especially in a state with so many tourists. I need to go back and reread the link I posted from the FDOT.

Here's another link about renting a car in Florida and tolls. I'm learning something new.

https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar

Last edited by justNancy; 06-16-2011 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:51 PM
 
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Something tells me it won't be long before all of Florida gets rid of all the toll booths and just leaves Sunpass and toll be plate like they did down here in Miami Dade.As of February there isn't a toll booth anywhere in Miami.You either have a Sunpass or if you don't they just mail you a bill,however they're getting who knows how many thousands of tourists or ignorant people without Sunpass as the toll by plate charges are higher than sunpass,what's worse is that many expressways that had always been free are now charging,for example the Don Shula expressway had a toll booth close to where it met the turnpike,it was $1 with sunpass and $1.25 in cash,you could get off or on at any of the exits before the toll booth and it was a free ride,now they put in 3 separate sunpass overhangs that charge .25,.25 and .50 with sunpass and .40,.40 and .65 with toll by plate,so nobody escapes paying as well as there being a .25 increase for non sunpass users.The 878 is another very short expressway from the Don Shula to US 1 it used to always be free but they installed two of those sunpass overhangs when they made the changes.One thing I notice is ground streets like US 1 are more crowded as people just avoid the expressways.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:10 AM
 
Location: just wandering around
8,267 posts, read 8,009,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom1001 View Post
Something tells me it won't be long before all of Florida gets rid of all the toll booths and just leaves Sunpass and toll be plate like they did down here in Miami Dade.As of February there isn't a toll booth anywhere in Miami.You either have a Sunpass or if you don't they just mail you a bill
This is what I like about City-Data. Someone new can start a thread and people who are long time members and have lived here for years can learn from it! I'm sure this subject has been on the news, but I somehow missed it. We don't have tolls where I live in Port Charlotte, and I haven't done a lot of long distance driving in several months, except on I-75 to Naples. (no tolls)

I was just in Boynton Beach late last year, so I'll be aware of this when I travel across the state again (which will be very soon)

Have fun in Florida, Debbie!
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:14 AM
 
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You wont run into any toll booth where the only method of payment is a sunpass, most will be manned and on the outside possibility they arent? paying cash into a basket will be your option..
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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My husband heard on the radio awhile back that they were going to Sunpass and unmanned booths on many or most of the expressways, etc. You have the option of getting Sunpass or mailing in the money later. Some have already been converted. He uses Leroy Selmon express every day, and it is Sunpass only.

Some, like the Skyway Bridge, still only have one dedicated Sunpass lane, and the rest of the booths are manned, so possibly they are not all being converted over.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:54 AM
 
8 posts, read 26,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdubose View Post
Most tollroads do still have that option...but the new thing is like on the Crosstown where they have taken out ALL tollbooths and you have 2 options either 1) use a Sunpass or 2) they take a picture of your tag and send you a bill in the mail. You dont even have to stop or slow down...theres just a row of cameras above the road.

This is what we have in Illinois ~sort of. If you have an I-Pass (the IL equivalent of the FL SunPass) then you can continue, uninterrupted, down most tollways where you pass under a row of cameras over the road. But in IL, if you don't have one, you sort of exit to the right where there are both manned and unmanned-coin-in toll booths.

It's pretty ridiculous in a state with so many tourists driving so many rental cars to have a tollway system where you can't pay cash at each toll.

But as long as I can use coins around the Bayway where we stay, and I can get to Universal via I-4, I should be fine.

Oh I forgot, we're going to Busch Gardens one day...if I recall I shouldn't have to pay any tolls on I-275 right? And I guess that applies to the airport as well?

Thank you all so much for your replies! I appreciate it tremendously!!!!
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