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Free loaner toll transponder at MCO


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Orlando Sentinel today:

 

Central Florida’s toll-road agency has begun to loan transponders to visitors at Orlando’s airport to try to solve ongoing complaints from out-of-towners that they had been gouged by rental companies charging fees that in many cases were far greater than actual road tolls.

Complaints have been on the rise as toll booths in Central Florida have given way to automated pay-by-plate tolling.

A frequent visitor, Don Rogalsky of Winnipeg, Canada, rented a car last year for a theme-park stay. He eventually ran out of a generous supply of quarters and encountered a toll plaza that did not provide change.

The rental-car bill he got for driving through a pay-by-plate lane at that toll plaza included a $10 administration charge.

“I got kind of hot about that,” Rogalsky said.

Several thousand loaner transponders are available during a three-month trial intended to turn into a permanent program. The expressway authority could find no model elsewhere in the country and had to design its own concept. The pilot project is costing the expressway authority $200,000 a month.

Along the A and B sides of the airport terminal, expressway-authority representatives wait from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. near rental-car counters and next to self-standing signs with the headline: “Travel like a local. Pay tolls. Skip fees.”

The authority has calculated that users of a loaner transponder can save as much as 80 percent of what they would pay through some rental-company toll options.

But as those toll options vary widely, transponder users would pay an average of 23 percent less than what drivers paying with cash would have to fork up, according the authority.

The program officially got started on May 1. But on the day before, Boston resident Marsha Montgomery arrived with her daughter for a cheerleading competition and had to wait in a long line to rent a car.

She saw one of the signs, went to the VisitorTollPass.com on her phone, filled out a form and, as a result, became the first user of a loaner transponder.

“The process was very smooth,” Montgomery said. “And you only have to pay for what you use.”


Other travelers said they hardly took note of the sign, though it was just feet away, as they were focused on their travel details.

“I guess I thought it was an advertisement for a resort,” Jennifer Dougherty said.

Several asked why information for the loaner transponders was not being made available at the counters or rental companies.

So far, the transponder program has the support of airport and leaders, but not the backing of rental companies.

The expressway-authority officials suspect but haven’t confirmed that loaner transponders may take a bite out of profits for rental companies.

“Our focus has been to work with the airport,” said expressway-authority spokesman Brian Hutchings.

Enterprise Holdings spokeswoman Lisa Martini said in response to the loaner program that the “tolling process remains complex and challenging for many drivers.”

“We look forward to working closely with CFX – just as we always have – to ensure the best possible customer experience,” Martini said.

The loaners are shaped as a small mirror hanger. Users will be charged $10 if the transponders are not returned either at the airport or by mail. Tolls are charged to a user’s credit card.

Authority representative Viviana Adams encouraged users to save a website link to the loaner program.

“It’s where you can see your tolls so that you won’t be surprised,” Adams said.

“Thank you,” said Maria Ramiro Delgado, clutching a transponder. “We’ve been traveling all day and need to get to our hotel for some rest.”

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This is so great!  They've needed to do this for some time instead of the rental car companies fleecing our guests.

 

However, I don't have too much faith in them not to screw it up.

 

I've been trying to straighten out a transponder problem for sever months now.

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'THEM'

 

That's where a difference may be

 

This program is being run by the Orlando Expressway Authority (CFX) .... their transponder system is E-PASS <fully inter-operable with SUNPASS>

 

The Florida turnpike system and if I'm not mistaken the Miami system is SUNPASS

 

So THEM is different in this program vs in Miami ..... CFX / State <turnpike authority>

 

CASE IN POINT

 

First ... well documented in the Florida news ... SUNPASS hired a new contractor and they tried a BIG upgrade this past year . .  HUGE DISASTER ..... HUGE ..... billing is STILL screwed up but Governor has suspended penalty fees . . . 

 

CFX / E-PASS is inter-operable with EZ-PASS the system throughout much of the northeastern US and even some points west to Chicago ... but SUNPASS is not ......  SO, around ORLANDO a visitor from NYC can use their EZ-PASS on roads under CFX and E-PASS ... but NOT on Turnpike/SUNPASS roads ...... and if that sounds confusing you win the prize!!!!!!  Here's a map for Orlando and if you look closely you'll see NO road that accepts EZ does so end to end!!!!!

 

Welcome to Florida ... the rules are different here.

 

 

ez pass.jpg

Edited by Capt_BJ
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happy tourists equals 

 

no state tax in FL !!!!!

 

it may cost $$ ... but we get it back FAST!!!!!

 

in this case the 'mark up' was going to the rental company ..... 

 

now we get good will points!!!!

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13 hours ago, Capt_BJ said:

happy tourists equals 

 

no state tax in FL !!!!!

 

it may cost $$ ... but we get it back FAST!!!!!

 

in this case the 'mark up' was going to the rental company ..... 

 

now we get good will points!!!!

 

I don't think any tourists are canceling Disney trips because they got dinged $10 from the rental company.  This is an answer to a problem that doesn't exist, and is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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years ago, when visiting FL we bought a SUNPASS transponder that could be moved from car to car. You just have to change the make model and plate # in your account.  It's easy to add money to my SUNPASS account to save from having to pay the rental car company.  I believe we bought it at Rite Aid for $25

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So is there a downside from picking one up when we fly in this Saturday from NH, and use it for two weeks?

 

If there's an additional fee that I don't have to pay Dollar Car Rental, I don't see a negative--whether it's $10 or $100.

 

Am I missing something?

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hmmm ... SUNPASS website says this is the current policy for DOLLAR:

 

$52.49 maximum weekly fee. PlatePass® All-Inclusive Tolling must be sold for the length of the rental contract. It cannot be purchased only on certain days. ... If not enrolled at time of reservation or at the rental counter, and user incurred toll charges by utilizing a dedicated or express lane, a $9.99 administrative fee + toll is assessed for each infraction to a maximum fee of $90.00. 

 

And this new program says you pay for tolls ONLY . . . you may want to go here and read details (recommend the FAQ) https://visitortollpass.com/  but were it me ..... I'd be 'reserving' on this site right now!!!!!

 

If you discover I missed something PLEASE come back and share . . . 

Edited by Capt_BJ
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BY THE WAY:
 
The Central Florida Expressway Authority is piloting a new automated toll payment solution for select visitors to Florida traveling between May 1 - August 1, 2019 and renting a car from the Orlando International Airport called Visitor Toll Pass™.
 
if you didn't go to the link . . . or missed the article where it said 3 month trial . . 
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17 hours ago, Capt_BJ said:

hmmm ... SUNPASS website says this is the current policy for DOLLAR:

 

$52.49 maximum weekly fee. PlatePass® All-Inclusive Tolling must be sold for the length of the rental contract. It cannot be purchased only on certain days. ... If not enrolled at time of reservation or at the rental counter, and user incurred toll charges by utilizing a dedicated or express lane, a $9.99 administrative fee + toll is assessed for each infraction to a maximum fee of $90.00. 

 

And this new program says you pay for tolls ONLY . . . you may want to go here and read details (recommend the FAQ) https://visitortollpass.com/  but were it me ..... I'd be 'reserving' on this site right now!!!!!

 

If you discover I missed something PLEASE come back and share . . . 

Based upon what I'm seeing at the Dollar site, and all the other info available, I will save money by picking up a transponder tomorrow at MCO, and returning it at the end of our two week stay.

 

I did sign up and have a confirmation #.

 

Thanks for your help!

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I just reserved mine. Got the confirmation number also.  Question is what will it cost compared to paying at the toll booth on the way to port Canaveral.  We’ve rented with Hertz. Their cost and fees are exaggerated compare to the $2.50 toll cost.

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right at the top of their page:

 

 Visitor Toll Pass™ is accepted at all electronic toll collection points, allowing you to travel nonstop without fumbling for cash. Plus, you will pay a reduced toll rate - with no additional fees or charges.

 

You get the same reduced rate those who 'own' a transponder gets . . . 

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On 5/9/2019 at 8:12 AM, AlexMar said:

 

I don't think any tourists are canceling Disney trips because they got dinged $10 from the rental company.  This is an answer to a problem that doesn't exist, and is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Actually I did not go to a cheerleading competition last weekend because I was not going to deal with getting ripped off by the tolls/car rental company. (some you can pay in cash others you cannot)  Also I remember (years ago) there was one gas station near the rental car places that were gouging customers they did not even have the prices listed (wonder if they are still there).   I think it might be easier just to pass a law and have the state work with car rental companies than to have a pilot program sponsored by the state.

 

Also in the future I will consider not going on cruises with stops in  Port Canaveral because some berths you can leave the port for free other berths you must pay a minimum  of $15 round trip.

 

There are a lot of people like me that just dont like to get ripped off and will choose another vacation destination.  Destinations where our tourist dollars are appreciated.

Edited by Newleno
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On 5/8/2019 at 11:23 AM, Capt_BJ said:

Orlando Sentinel today:

 

Central Florida’s toll-road agency has begun to loan transponders to visitors at Orlando’s airport to try to solve ongoing complaints from out-of-towners that they had been gouged by rental companies charging fees that in many cases were far greater than actual road tolls.

Complaints have been on the rise as toll booths in Central Florida have given way to automated pay-by-plate tolling.

A frequent visitor, Don Rogalsky of Winnipeg, Canada, rented a car last year for a theme-park stay. He eventually ran out of a generous supply of quarters and encountered a toll plaza that did not provide change.

The rental-car bill he got for driving through a pay-by-plate lane at that toll plaza included a $10 administration charge.

“I got kind of hot about that,” Rogalsky said.

Several thousand loaner transponders are available during a three-month trial intended to turn into a permanent program. The expressway authority could find no model elsewhere in the country and had to design its own concept. The pilot project is costing the expressway authority $200,000 a month.

Along the A and B sides of the airport terminal, expressway-authority representatives wait from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. near rental-car counters and next to self-standing signs with the headline: “Travel like a local. Pay tolls. Skip fees.”

The authority has calculated that users of a loaner transponder can save as much as 80 percent of what they would pay through some rental-company toll options.

But as those toll options vary widely, transponder users would pay an average of 23 percent less than what drivers paying with cash would have to fork up, according the authority.

The program officially got started on May 1. But on the day before, Boston resident Marsha Montgomery arrived with her daughter for a cheerleading competition and had to wait in a long line to rent a car.

She saw one of the signs, went to the VisitorTollPass.com on her phone, filled out a form and, as a result, became the first user of a loaner transponder.

“The process was very smooth,” Montgomery said. “And you only have to pay for what you use.”


Other travelers said they hardly took note of the sign, though it was just feet away, as they were focused on their travel details.

“I guess I thought it was an advertisement for a resort,” Jennifer Dougherty said.

Several asked why information for the loaner transponders was not being made available at the counters or rental companies.

So far, the transponder program has the support of airport and leaders, but not the backing of rental companies.

The expressway-authority officials suspect but haven’t confirmed that loaner transponders may take a bite out of profits for rental companies.

“Our focus has been to work with the airport,” said expressway-authority spokesman Brian Hutchings.

Enterprise Holdings spokeswoman Lisa Martini said in response to the loaner program that the “tolling process remains complex and challenging for many drivers.”

“We look forward to working closely with CFX – just as we always have – to ensure the best possible customer experience,” Martini said.

The loaners are shaped as a small mirror hanger. Users will be charged $10 if the transponders are not returned either at the airport or by mail. Tolls are charged to a user’s credit card.

Authority representative Viviana Adams encouraged users to save a website link to the loaner program.

“It’s where you can see your tolls so that you won’t be surprised,” Adams said.

“Thank you,” said Maria Ramiro Delgado, clutching a transponder. “We’ve been traveling all day and need to get to our hotel for some rest.”

thank you for this great information

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  • 2 weeks later...

Returned home from MCO yesterday.

 

The whole process was so easy--from getting the transponder at the airport on the 11th, to returning it to a dropbox yesterday.

 

My account shows all transactions, and I assume the charges are discounted as they claimed.

 

From our standpoint, this program will be a huge win for visitors who rent cars in the area.

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15 days left,  I’ll be there to test it out.  Just gonna wonder what the rental car is going to say or try to do something.  

 

I pretty much prepared myself for this.  Got the pass, got my own rental car insurance,  will verify that the rental car transponder is CLOSED and tape it shuts. 

 

What did I miss.........

 

oh oh oh yeah gas money 

 

what else ????

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16 minutes ago, CrazyIrving said:

15 days left,  I’ll be there to test it out.  Just gonna wonder what the rental car is going to say or try to do something.  

 

I pretty much prepared myself for this.  Got the pass, got my own rental car insurance,  will verify that the rental car transponder is CLOSED and tape it shuts. 

 

What did I miss.........

 

oh oh oh yeah gas money 

 

what else ????

I rented from Dollar and they said nothing.

 

The people with the transponders are in the area of the car rental counters. It took less than 5 minutes to get it.

 

The return boxes are near the crosswalk from the garage--looks like a mailbox and is easy to spot.

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On 5/11/2019 at 10:30 AM, Newleno said:

 Also I remember (years ago) there was one gas station near the rental car places that were gouging customers they did not even have the prices listed (wonder if they are still there).  

Yes, they are still there. Today they were charging 4.89/gallon while the WAWA a few blocks north of them is charging 2.45.(We just happened to have gone that way while running errands today and I always look to see if they're still ridiculous. They are)

That station had a long battle with the City of Orlando and finally had to start posting a price. They don't make it easy to find though. 

I always feel bad for the people I see at the pumps there. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is great.  I always set my GPS to avoid toll roads so I don't get whacked from the rental car people.

 

Now if they'd just all accept EZPass like every other place we'd be set.

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On 6/12/2019 at 12:15 AM, kpjb said:

Now if they'd just all accept EZPass like every other place we'd be set.

 

Does "every other place" accept our EPass and SunPass? Just curious.

Edited by hrhdhd
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The annoying thing is that EZ Pass is accepted on parts of roads in Florida, so driving from Orlando to Cape Canaveral, for example, you can't use EZ Pass from I-4 to 417 until you're half way to 528.  Then you can use EZ Pass.  Once on 528, you can use EZPass, but only until you're about half way to 95.  Then you can't use it any more.

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