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-   -   The cashless toll road trap: FL and others (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/rental-car-discussion/1678238-cashless-toll-road-trap-fl-others.html)

fairviewroad May 12, 15 5:16 pm

So what would people think about introducing the idea of government regulation to this discussion: For example, rental car agencies in states that have cashless toll facilities are required to include a transponder in each rental car, or in cases of license plate readers, to charge drivers only for the toll. Variation: A small "handling" fee is permitted, but capped at a reasonable amount and only for days that toll facilities are actually used.

Or...continue with the current free-for-all system wherein car rental companies can seemingly charge whatever they like? Pure capitalism, of course. If the market wants lower fees, the market will decide, right?

JapanFlyerT May 12, 15 6:12 pm

Not just in the US
 
In Queensland the Gold Coast-Sunshine Coast motorway records your number plate and gives you 3 days to go online and register to pay the toll.

I did so, however the rental car I had automatically charged me for a toll plus penalties for what turned out to be a toll that was incurred during the previous renter's period on the same road.

It pays to be vigilant.

nsx May 12, 15 6:46 pm


Originally Posted by fairviewroad (Post 24806378)
So what would people think about introducing the idea of government regulation to this discussion

I think some sort of federal regulation (car rental is often interstate commerce) is a certainty if the current situation persists more than another year or so. I hope the market provides a solution before regulations impose a virtual freeze on innovation.

Some company needs to create a universal transponder and back it with a low-fee service. Buy one unit for home and away. Take it with you and you pay the tolls with no participation by the car rental company.

fiveninerzero May 12, 15 7:21 pm


Originally Posted by nsx (Post 24781346)
There is a business opportunity here for a GPS app that avoids routing onto cashless toll roads.

In Waze, it's simple. You merely uncheck the toll road option in the settings. Worked like a champ during a recent trip to Miami.

kxc262 May 12, 15 7:45 pm

For the Golden Gate bridge, you can prepay your tolls.
http://goldengate.org/tolls/tollpaymentoptions.php

I would recommend this for ALL rental car users crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to avoid silly surcharges.

nsx May 12, 15 8:30 pm


Originally Posted by fiveninerzero (Post 24806845)
In Waze, it's simple. You merely uncheck the toll road option in the settings. Worked like a champ during a recent trip to Miami.

It would be much better to avoid ONLY CASHLESS toll roads and allow routing onto toll roads which accept cash.

710 77345 May 12, 15 8:39 pm

Had exactly this problem in NYC - was hit by a c.$25 Plate Pass fee for an unavoidable toll that was about a dollar but couldn't be paid online after the event.

Canarsie May 13, 15 5:37 am


Originally Posted by kxc262 (Post 24806943)
For the Golden Gate bridge, you can prepay your tolls.
http://goldengate.org/tolls/tollpaymentoptions.php

I would recommend this for ALL rental car users crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to avoid silly surcharges.

...and what if plans change where one does not use the Golden Gate Bridge after all —.especially for motorists visiting from out of town?

golfaholicdoc May 13, 15 7:44 am


Originally Posted by IAHtraveler (Post 24783465)
Annoying to say the least. One way I've found to reduce the burden: grab a toll transponder. I have one for EZPass that never leaves my work bag. When in FL last month, I also picked up one of their transponders at Publix for use in my trips there. Now if only everyone took EZPass! Or they had an app for that...

Hi, if possible let me know WHICH roads from MIami to West Palm Beach in FL, HASN'T cash toll boots.Thanks.

MADPhil May 13, 15 7:51 am


Originally Posted by Canarsie (Post 24808077)
...and what if plans change where one does not use the Golden Gate Bridge after all —.especially for motorists visiting from out of town?

What I did was to set up an account for the rental car - and then remove it before returning it. Slightly more trouble but you only pay for what you use.

Canarsie May 13, 15 10:50 am


Originally Posted by golfaholicdoc (Post 24808522)
Hi, if possible let me know WHICH roads from MIami to West Palm Beach in FL, HASN'T cash toll boots.Thanks.

As long as you avoid the variable toll lanes, Interstate 95 has no tolls for motorists who use the general lanes throughout its entire length in the state of Florida.

As shown on this map, the southern section of Florida’s Turnpike has no cash tolls — only electronic ones — and that will eventually be expanded to include its entire distance.

mnredfox May 13, 15 1:17 pm

I've wondered what happens in SFO on the GGB. Being a resident I had the Fastrak, but wondered how it works with tourists in rentals. Chicago is easy, just remember what tolls you go through and pay online, but many other places (Denver, Dallas) don't.

Obviously rental company's love tacking their toll fees, so they are in no incentive to fix anything.

PVDProf May 13, 15 2:26 pm

Pleased to see this crop up in TalkMail, as it was my most recent travel hassle. I'm surprised by how much variation there is in practices across companies. I was in DFW for a wedding a couple weekends ago, and rented from Thrifty/Dollar.

Their policy/hard sell was: $15 plus toll per toll (service fee for matching the toll to me, you see), OR I could sign up for their program for $13/day (for each day of the rental) including tolls. They were uninterested in helping me mange my routing: "Where are the tolls?" "They're everywhere." "How much are the tolls?" "Variable." "Do you have a map?" "They're not on our maps. You'd need to rent a GPS." "This sounds like a scam." "It's our policy."

At the wedding, friends had rented from different companies. A couple said nothing, a couple were explicit that toll amounts would be passed onto the renter's credit card. One may have had a modest daily fee.

Are there regional or national policies that different companies have? I don't think there was good way for me to know this hidden markup on the car I reserved when I reserved it. (Though next time I'm walking to the next counter…)

fairviewroad May 13, 15 4:34 pm


Originally Posted by nsx (Post 24806730)

Some company needs to create a universal transponder and back it with a low-fee service. Buy one unit for home and away. Take it with you and you pay the tolls with no participation by the car rental company.

I think the "universal transponder" must surely be unnecessary in this age of smartphones. I don't know how it would work but I do think someone with enough ingenuity could develop a toll-paying app. Turn the app on, and you pay any toll that you pass through, as determined by GPS.

Leave the app off, and you get a bill in the mail based on your license plate. Having the ability to turn the app on and off would prevent multiple people in the same vehicle from paying the toll.

flyingtrainguy May 13, 15 9:43 pm

North Texas, under the aegis of the North Texas Toll Authority (NTTA), has gone totally cashless for its extensive network of toll roads and growing number of high occupancy-toll (HOT) lanes. The NTTA utilizes yet another technology which resembles a thin sticker (RFID-like device) called a TXTag. The TXTag is compatible with the technology used by the Oklahoma Turnpike and the DFW parking system. Its not compatible with EZ-Pass. The NTTA encourages users to get a TxTag by offering lower toll rates. If you don't have a TxTag you can also pay by mail - the NTTA doesn't assess a use fee, but does charge higher toll rates for using "Zip Cash." Effectively a use fee. Until recently there was a threshold that had to be met before a bill was sent, but after some controversy they have been sending bills for most outstanding amounts on a monthly basis.


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