Smaller, cheaper SunPass coming - but once it's on, it can't be...

's Turnpike will unveil this summer a smaller and cheaper toll-road transponder for motorists on the expressway and turnpike systems. Full Story
Former Destin Rez

Winter Garden, FL

#22 Feb 15, 2008
BOBALOT wrote:
How will you know if it worked? I went through a toll once and the xponder did not beep (batteries were ok), they took a picture of my plate and sent me a notice that next time I did that I would be fined a hundred bucks. Beautiful.
The light will turn green in the toll booth. There is also an audible noise if you pass through(and the light stays red) You're from Niceville so you probably use this for the toll bridge into Destin correct?

You'll also know when the little gate does not go up if you've not paid your bill(for those plazas that have the gate arm)
Kahn

Draper, UT

#23 Feb 15, 2008
How come you have to pay to drive on Fl. roads, but traffic is still a major issue?
Rocket Scientist

United States

#24 Feb 15, 2008
Reid wrote:
I wouldn't use a transponder that doesn't make a sound as I go through a toll.How do I know it worked? I have to log into the account every day I drive to make sure? A dumb idea.
You look at the light in the toll lane.(Green) it is working.(red) it is not working.(Low Balance) you need to add money to the account.
pretty simple. Any questions??
yawn

Lexington, SC

#25 Feb 15, 2008
sucks. tolls in this town will never go away. don't give me that "no income tax" hoopla, either. Why does Jacksonville get freeways while the rest of the state languishes under tollways? seems like the yard apes up there know how to pull political muscle.
Rocket Scientist

United States

#26 Feb 15, 2008
ddkk wrote:
<quoted text>
If you have an older EPass, it doesn't beep when you go through tolls, and if you go through the high-speed tolls, there are no lights to tell you if it's working or not. I still pass through one toll a day that's not high-speed so I get a green light, but once that's changed to the overhead tolls very soon, there will be nothing to tell me if the thing stops working. I wonder how they'll handle that. Hopefully they'll send out some kind of warning first.
They have a yellow flashing light over the lane, mounted under the bridge if you transponder does not work or you do not have one. The clue is the flashing light. Look to the light
Motorcycle user

AOL

#27 Feb 15, 2008
I've gone through E-Pass lane with my bike without a transponder several times and never gotten a letter. I also had my transponder (registered to one of my cars) on the bike once and it didn't registered either. Do bikes get more "lenient" treatment? or I've just been lucky?
Mew

Clearwater, FL

#28 Feb 15, 2008
Rocket Scientist wrote:
<quoted text>
You look at the light in the toll lane.(Green) it is working.(red) it is not working.(Low Balance) you need to add money to the account.
pretty simple. Any questions??
Think outside Orlando, Rocket Scientist. Traveling on the Florida Turnpike is different than the Expressway System. Most Sunpass lanes only have two "light-up signs" that flash just a split second before you zip past them. One says "Thank You" (if everything went well) and one says "Low Balance" if your account is low or empty.

The Expressway Authority gave us a standard Red/Yellow/Green light plus a data readout in every EPass lane. That's more than the SunPass system ever gave its drivers... but not quite. You need to look back 10 years to understand why. The reason why SunPass has such ancient toll plaza signaling is because when SunPass first came out around 1998, the SunPass transponders had three features on them:

1) 3 colored lights (Red/Yellow/Green);
2) distinct sounds for each scenario (Good/Low Bal/Empty);
3) an LCD readout screen that told you the amount you just paid plus how much you had left in your account.

A few years after the initial release, they created a cheaper version of the SunPass that kept the 3 colored lights and sounds, but eliminated the LCD screen. Sunpass should have updated their toll plaza signaling devices to give drivers more information on their transaction; but they did not. If you have ever driven through a SunPass lane (there are a few in Central Florida), you know what I mean.

Since the EPass system has always used transponders without visual or audible signaling, the toll plazas have always had good signaling, making the need for any type of signaling on the transponders unnecessary.

The new Sunpass Mini is simply a natural evolution for the toll transponder, just like when the theme parks stopped using hard plastic with photo for annual passes and switched to standard thermal ticket medium with fingerprint recognition. It's cheaper to replace a $5 transponder than a $25 transponder; and given how any transponder will eventually bake itself to a brittle, cracked plastic death in our sun, at least the Mini will cost less to replace. That is, of course, if you can actually remove it yourself (given the adhesive it probably uses)...
Tired Commuter

Redwood City, CA

#29 Feb 15, 2008
So can I stick this on my helmet and no longer have to remember to switch my transponder between my bikes?

Or does it have to be in a particular orientation like the old transponders?
Bill

AOL

#30 Feb 15, 2008
With the new mini will you still save 25% on tolls?
Hate Tolls

United States

#31 Feb 15, 2008
Wow, we aren't charged a toll for reading this article. How can the officials with the toll companies afford this article w/out charging a toll. Without toll money how can they afford to send people to Europe to find out how to charge people more for tolls.
fstopfitz

United States

#32 Feb 15, 2008
I am not going to get one of these. My wife looks at the bill and certainly will ask what I was doing there. Forget it man. No way. She doesn't ask about my allowance unless I run out.
anon

United States

#35 Feb 15, 2008
Just one more step on the road to 1984, Big Brother knowing everything about you, and the AntiChrist. Yep, you read it here first!
Old Curmudgeon

Orlando, FL

#36 Feb 15, 2008
Let's see..........it costs $4.95..........you get that back when you begin to use it..........that means it is free..........and people are worried about portability? GET ONE FOR EVERY FREAKIN VEHICLE YOU OWN!
Layla

Orlando, FL

#37 Feb 16, 2008
Motorcycle user wrote:
I've gone through E-Pass lane with my bike without a transponder several times and never gotten a letter. I also had my transponder (registered to one of my cars) on the bike once and it didn't registered either. Do bikes get more "lenient" treatment? or I've just been lucky?
your lucky because its a violation for going through a toll without paying...no ifs, ands or butts....please dont keep going through without a transponder..because those tickets will catch up to you...
Layla

Orlando, FL

#38 Feb 16, 2008
Bill wrote:
With the new mini will you still save 25% on tolls?
YES, NOTHING CHANGES JUST THE DEVICE!!
Tootie

Orlando, FL

#39 Feb 17, 2008
Kahn wrote:
How come you have to pay to drive on Fl. roads, but traffic is still a major issue?
20 million residents, 50 million tourists, and no state income tax. DUH.
Tolls

Newburyport, MA

#40 Feb 18, 2008
A current theme I see here: people afraid of getting $100 tickets for going through the tolls. I assume that when you opened up your account you provided you vehicle license plate number. The purpose of this was to identify you as a CUSTOMER in case the transaponder did not read, and therefore the toll could be applied to your account via the image taken of your license plate. As long as you keep your plate up-to-date, there should be no problems.

Secondly, these sticker tags are used exclusively in Puerto Rico where they have had no problems with the sun impacting the performance of the device. Removing them once they have expire may be a different story.

Feedback in the lane will be a change for most of you who are used to the on-board unit's led lights and audible beep. However, most other tolling areas of the country do not have these feedback options. They either rely on the in-lane devices (gates, traffic light, et. al.) or prople look at their statements every once in a while.

All-in-all, the SunPass and other ETC systems are more than 99% accurate. Chances are, if you go through a collector lane or an Automated coin lane 100 times, there will be more than 2 errors, making SunPass a more convenient, accurate, and eco-friendly choice.
Novel-Idea

Orlando, FL

#41 Feb 19, 2008
How kind of the Expressway Authorities to consider expense when asking us to pay even MORE money to drive on the roads that we're already paying for....especially when they're so mis-managed that the very obvious traffic obstructions are the ones that THEY are causing. Prime example...evening peak traffic in downtown Orlando at the $.75 Crystal Lake toll booth for eastbound 408. As I make my commute back to Seminole County from downtown, I get to this toll and sit in amazement at the lines of traffic waiting to get through while AT LEAST two booths in the middle of the plaza are closed. An exact change booth has been out of operation for weeks (if not months) and the innermost change lane is typically coned off at peak traffic. WHY? This causes such a back up of cash-paying drivers in the right lanes that it typically goes back well beyond where the roadway is three lanes before breaking into multiple toll lanes. All those poor people who spent that $25 on a transponder can't even get to the toll lanes to use them because of the cash-paying lines being so backed up. Meanwhile, when you finally do make it to the front of the cash paying lines, there are 4 or more epass lanes with very little traffic. They need to reconsider how many lanes they open to each type of motorist and recognize that their goals to better serve those with transponders with additional lanes is actually creating greater back ups and bigger hinderances. And, gee, I'm not even an engineer. Imagine that.
Daffy Duck

Orlando, FL

#42 Feb 19, 2008
Novel-Idea wrote:
How kind of the Expressway Authorities to consider expense when asking us to pay even MORE money to drive on the roads that we're already paying for....especially when they're so mis-managed that the very obvious traffic obstructions are the ones that THEY are causing. Prime example...evening peak traffic in downtown Orlando at the $.75 Crystal Lake toll booth for eastbound 408. As I make my commute back to Seminole County from downtown, I get to this toll and sit in amazement at the lines of traffic waiting to get through while AT LEAST two booths in the middle of the plaza are closed. An exact change booth has been out of operation for weeks (if not months) and the innermost change lane is typically coned off at peak traffic. WHY? This causes such a back up of cash-paying drivers in the right lanes that it typically goes back well beyond where the roadway is three lanes before breaking into multiple toll lanes. All those poor people who spent that $25 on a transponder can't even get to the toll lanes to use them because of the cash-paying lines being so backed up. Meanwhile, when you finally do make it to the front of the cash paying lines, there are 4 or more epass lanes with very little traffic. They need to reconsider how many lanes they open to each type of motorist and recognize that their goals to better serve those with transponders with additional lanes is actually creating greater back ups and bigger hinderances. And, gee, I'm not even an engineer. Imagine that.
Or you could stop expecting the world to change to accomodate your personal needs, get an e-pass transponder, and move on ...

The problem is luddites in the cash lane fumbling for chump change.
BEN

United States

#43 Jun 17, 2008
Why does everyone think a $5 sunpass is a bad idea? It cant be removed, so what? Iit cant be stolen, it isnt going to dry up and fall off, its silly to complain about an essentially good idea. My 2 cents.

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