Old May 7, 15, 11:46 am
Moderator: Southwest Airlines
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: California
Programs: WN Companion Pass, A-list preferred, Hyatt Globalist Lite; United Club ex-Lifetime Member
Posts: 20,069
The cashless toll road trap: FL and others

Last year I encountered my first cashless toll road in Austin, TX. In a rental car you have no way to pay the thing. Furthermore the road signs do not warn you of this problem.

On top of that, it was after a wrong turn: I didn't benefit from the toll road in any way. The rental car company billed me a multi-dollar amount for a 25 or 50 cent toll.

Recently I had the same problem in Florida. I had been using toll roads, of which there are many in Florida, and I had plenty of quarters on hand to pay tolls. So I thought nothing of entering a toll road in Tampa. The toll road signs did NOT say "Cash not accepted" or anything of the sort. Yet on the exit there was no payment option at all. Just "we will send you a bill". No, they will send National a bill, and National will charge me $5 or whatever for a 50 cent toll.

What a way to welcome tourists to your state. I've read that these roads are all over southern Florida, although I don't know if they are better marked there than the one I encountered.

Always ask at the rental counter about cashless toll roads in the area. If you learn how they are marked (or not marked) you may be able to avoid them. But it's getting more difficult: GPS apps lead you right onto them.

There is a business opportunity here for a GPS app that avoids routing onto cashless toll roads.
nsx is offline