The transponder, once attached to the inside of your windshield, transmits a radio signal to sensors mounted in the SunPass toll lanes. As you drive through the SunPass lanes, the proper toll amount is deducted from your Prepaid Account. Link
In my youth when we took a Florida road trip, my Dad would busily scroll the radio dial as we drove through each station’s coverage and my Mom would jingle a fistful of coins in her hand waiting to satisfy the change bucket at our next turnpike exit. In the 1970’s that’s how we traveled Florida, an IBM punch card and an ashtray full of coins.
Fast forward a few decades and it’s all about the SunPass transponder.
Most of us are only familiar with the “SunPassOnly” lane, but there are four types of SunPass lanes
1. Open Road Tolling is for the exclusive use of SunPass customers. A large overhead gantry allows you to travel at highway speeds while the tolls are deducted from your prepaid account.
2. The “SunPassOnly” lane is for the exclusive use of SunPass customers. Posted speed is 25 mph.
3. The “Exact Change” lane is only for cars (two-axle vehicles). Trucks (3+ axles) and trailers are not permitted in this lane.
4. The “Change/Receipt” lane with a small SunPass logo can be used by all customers.
Therefore, if traffic is backed up in the “SunPassOnly” lane you have a few choices.
You can also use your SunPass for airport parking at Orlando, Tampa, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, and Miami International Airports, again no more waiting in lines.
The SunPass website is actually useful, our tax dollars at work. If you’re planning a trip, their website has a calculator that allows you to figure out the toll cost of your trip as well as letting you know the service plaza locations.
My “TOTD” Tip Of The Day, the next time you purchase a SunPass, purchase the SunPass Portable. Since it’s named portable, it means it’s portable. Use it in your rental car, your Uncle’s car or an abandoned car you find that’s still drivable.
Here is something that you don’t want to do, leave your portable transponder at home.
Recently I left my mine at home and relied on Hertz’s “complimentary” transponder as I drove through Atlanta. Complimentary resulted in a $24.75 “Administrative Fee” …… seriously? I only drove in a toll lane one day, but they charged me an “Administrative Fee” for each day of my rental …… seriously?. Do you spell profit with one “T” or two?
Currently, you can also use your SunPass to pay tolls in North Carolina and Georgia. If you travel, spend the extra dollars on the portable version.
Here’s one last “TOTD” Tip Of The Day, if you’re having your windshield replaced, make sure to remove your SunPass before they remove your old windshield.
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