Expressway Authority votes to change 836, 112 toll plazas
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority voted in a board meeting Tuesday night to switch current toll plazas on State Roads 836 and 112 to an all-electronic tolling system.
In addition to converting to open-road tolling, the cost of living index will be applied along both state roads, also known as the Dolphin and Airport Expressways. SunPass users will continue to receive a discount using those devices. Everyone else will get a bill in the mail.
Commuters will have some time to adjust to the changes and the additional costs. "The toll plazas will start coming down on 112 and 836 later this year," said MDX spokesperson Cindy Polo. "That process will last for about a year, and the full conversion to electronic tolling will be in summer of 2014," she added.
According to the Authority, 55 percent of drivers are paying for the whole system right now, but with the addition of 17 new tolling places, they can spread the costs. The money will fund $420 million in projects on those roads.
Because of a 7-6 vote on the actual toll amount, the Authority will revisit the issue at their next meeting in April. The basic toll rate could drop from $1 to between 65 and 70 cents, but they will work out the exact amount after a review by the finance department.
The decisions reached at Tuesday night's was met with some vocal opposition. "We cannot be silent anymore about this tax," said Carlos Garcia, co-chair of the grassroots watchdog group www.RollBackTolls.com. "This is a road tax. It's not a toll, it's a road tax."
Garcia is hoping more people fight these changes. "We have an on-line petition against this toll rate increase. We're asking people to go to the website, sign the petition, be involved," he said.
For more information about the upcoming changes: http://www.mdxway.com/mdx-public-hearing.
Rollbacktolls.com has accumulated about 1,400 signatures so far. For more information: http://www.rollbacktolls.com/
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