MIAMI (CBS4) — For four decades South Florida has used cash at the Dolphin Expressway toll plaza.
Come Sunday, cash will be a piece of history.
“By eliminating the cash we have made it so much safer for everybody. I’m going to like not having the cash option because I’m able to get to my destination much sooner than I would have normally.”
Mario Diaz with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority said.
No, the toll will not be free.
Sunpass is taking over.
The move is expected to open up the highway.
Currently, it’s estimated the cash lanes handle 250 cars an hour.
Sunpass on the other hand moves more than 2000 cars without stopping.
Sunday night all of these cash lanes will shut down.
They’ll be wiped out by the winter of 2014.
Once the cash lanes are fully removed, a new Sunpass toll will be added – for westbound traffic.
The toll at this new Sunpass plaza will be reduced to 70 cents.
But remember you will be charged going both ways now.
Upon hearing the news 836 User Andrew Pile laughed.
“Money, money, money.” he said. “Well, that’s what it’s all about. They improve the roads, that cost money.”
The Miami Dade Expressway Authority estimates tolling both ways will make an extra $53 million a year.
The money will go to projects to add another lane to the 836 and renovate ramps.
Cynthia Curry, who also uses the road had mixed feelings about the upgrade replacing toll booth workers.
“It’s sad that people will lose their jobs but it’s more convenient because then you have to stop, you have to wait in line, if the line is too long you know.” Curry said.
By 2015 all cash toll plazas run by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, including the 112 will be gone. It’s bad news for cash users like Pile.
“They should have at least one cash, in case people like me come along and they don’t have a Sunpass,” he said.
For those who have held out from getting a Sunpass, you now have no excuse.
MDX will be handing the transponders out for free over the next week.
You can pick up the free transponder at MDX headquarters 3790 NW 21st Street in Miami at the following dates and times:
July 22, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
July 24, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
July 26, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
July 28, 9 a.m. – Noon
July 30, 9 a.m. – Noon
August 1, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
You can also pick up a Sunpass at Publix, Sedanos, and CVS stores for $4.99.