Reporting Brian Andrews
KENDALL (CBS4) – Community Activists gathered in Kendall Monday night for a meeting to inform the public about proposed toll increases in Miami-Dade Expressways.
MDX is considering increasing tolls on the Dolphin and Airport Expressways. In some cases, the cost of the commute would double for drivers who do not pay with a SunPass.
Pat Milone lives in the Redland. She attended the meeting to find out what her options may be.
She said her commute to work takes more than an hour and a half now because she is forced to use Krome Avenue since she can’t afford tolls.
“I can no longer afford it. It was costing me 60 dollars a month just to get to my job,” she said.
Carlos Garcia of the group “rollbacktolls.com” warned citizens to get involved or be forced to pay more by next summer.
“There’s going to be tolls on on-ramps and off-ramps and there’s going to be new SunPass toll collection gantries installed,” he said. “People who aren’t aware of this will be quite surprised come June of 2014.”
Garcia said the current $2.25 cost of the tolls for a round trip on the Dolphin between I-95 and the Turnpike will rise dramatically if MDX approves the increase.
“If they’re able to raise the toll rate to the 17 cents per mile rate they want, that round trip would cost $4.20 by June of 2014,” he said. “For the non-SunPass user, that rate would be $8.40!”
Community Activist Michael Rosenberg says there’s got to be a better way to pay for the roads in Miami-Dade County.
“In Jacksonville, they raised the sales tax to half a percent and threw out the tolls,” said Rosenberg. “It turned out to be a much better deal for the people.”
Rosenberg says if MDX is allowed to raise tolls on both Expressways, some commuters could see the cost of their annual commute increase by more than $400.00.
Rosenberg and Garcia are encouraging residents to sign an online petition against the proposed toll increases at rollbacktolls.com. MDX will hold its next public meeting on the proposed increases on March 19th.