The cashless toll road trap: FL and others

Old Jun 4, 15, 1:49 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
I travel to the SF area frequently and have one of their FasTrak transponders. I like to register my transponder with my rental vehicle so I don't get a surprise if my transponder does not work. It seems that this is not possible with Hertz in CA as they pre-register every one of their vehicles and this can not be changed. Thankfully, the one time my transponder failed to work I was in a car rented from a different cmpany.
You should write a detailed explanation to the Fastrak people -- they may come up with a way to accomodate it. The LA version has been very good about responding to comments, criticism, and suggestions, to the point that when I pointed out a toll notice tower (flower at 28th) that had been perfectly located so that the tolls were blocked by a metro railroad signal such that you couldn't actually read the sign until you were committed to the entry, they called me up to get more details and then started construction on a better located sign within a few weeks, though they didn't power it up until the initial "demo" period of the whole system was done.
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Old Jun 9, 15, 9:22 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by chrisl137 View Post
You should write a detailed explanation to the Fastrak people -- they may come up with a way to accomodate it.
I think this boils down to Hertz making it easy to spend excessive mney on tolls with their service.

I ran into this issue the other day in Chile driving to the Santiago airport. There was some sort of transponder in the car and I ended up going through three tolls in the span of about 5 miles that were completely electronic with no way to know in advance that one would pass through. The USD equivalent was about $1 for all three (based on the amount displayed above the roadway)... I can't wait to see hw much I am charged.
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Old Jun 10, 15, 9:35 am
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I am glad I saw this thread. Am going from ABQ>BWI>RDU via SWA, then picking up a rental car at Budget & driving to Lynchburg, VA. So I looked at Raleigh, there are a couple toll roads, but I won't be needing them for my trip.

I have never driven in NC, so this will be all new & strange to me.
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Old Jun 10, 15, 5:15 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Insulator-King View Post
I am glad I saw this thread. Am going from ABQ>BWI>RDU via SWA, then picking up a rental car at Budget & driving to Lynchburg, VA. So I looked at Raleigh, there are a couple toll roads, but I won't be needing them for my trip.

I have never driven in NC, so this will be all new & strange to me.
For the drive from Raleigh to Lynchburg you should have no trouble avoiding the toll roads. I've done the drive myself, it's very easy and very pleasant, especially this time of year.
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Old Jun 12, 15, 11:20 am
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We bring our GPS with us on trips and it has saved us from tolls a few times. On our most recent trip from Tampa to Orlando, Thrifty attempted to persuade us into renting a transponder. We said no. We were almost caught on the Osceola Parkway just outside of Disney World, but we turned around far ahead of the toll booth exit.

After the fact, we found this chart handy while researching rental cars and toll roads in Florida: https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar
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Old Jun 13, 15, 6:03 am
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I don't agree about these toll roads in FL, so FL is not on our list. Also even if you bought a SUNPASS, there is no guarantee that you are safe. I have seen other FTers bought a Sunpass to avoid being dinged by Avis and it didn't work out. They have to spend a lot of time to dispute with Avis and eventually to their CC issuers.

I doubt that FL govt will do anything to protect tourists - they are flooding into FL daily, and most of them by far don't feel as strongly about being dinged as I'm. Most people will look at the bill and said, 'oh' and pay.

I definitely agree Avis/Hertz convenience fee is way too high - but if most people are happy about it and pay, why should they change?
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Old Jun 13, 15, 8:42 pm
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Held my breath...

Did a quick RT from DCA to BOS. Rented from Alamo, paid them $3.50 or so for each of the 2 days for their "magic box".

I had a pad and pen next to me, thinking I would write down the tolls I passed through, so I could match up whatever I would receive from Alamo. I really dreaded what I perceived to be the inevitable upon my return...

First few tolls, not a problem, signs were clearly displayed, I entered them on my pad. Feeling pretty smart. Went downhill from there, I had no clue as I passed through various toll lanes from DCA to BOS and back, what the heck I was being charged.

Within days an additional charge hit my credit card. Of course I rec'd no itemization, just the charge on my card. It was about what friends told me it would be, $100 or so.

So guess I let out a sigh of relief.

But one crazy way to run a highway system...
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Old Jun 15, 15, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by randix View Post
$100 or so.
And that's just on one trip. And the same amount of money could have been spent on a stand-alone GPS with an "avoids tolls" feature, which could be reused (at no additional cost) on future trips.

There are certainly ways to get between DCA and BOS while avoiding most tools (a few bridges or tunnels excepted perhaps). In some cases, it's as simple as knowing that a toll-free interstate parallels the toll road if you just go out of your way a few miles once.
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Old Jun 15, 15, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by nacho View Post
I don't agree about these toll roads in FL, so FL is not on our list. Also even if you bought a SUNPASS, there is no guarantee that you are safe. I have seen other FTers bought a Sunpass to avoid being dinged by Avis and it didn't work out. They have to spend a lot of time to dispute with Avis and eventually to their CC issuers.

I doubt that FL govt will do anything to protect tourists - they are flooding into FL daily, and most of them by far don't feel as strongly about being dinged as I'm. Most people will look at the bill and said, 'oh' and pay.

I definitely agree Avis/Hertz convenience fee is way too high - but if most people are happy about it and pay, why should they change?
Silvercar at FLL and MIA have won some over due to a better toll charging practice than the car rental majors.
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Old Jun 15, 15, 2:45 pm
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Actually...

Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
And that's just on one trip. And the same amount of money could have been spent on a stand-alone GPS with an "avoids tolls" feature, which could be reused (at no additional cost) on future trips.

There are certainly ways to get between DCA and BOS while avoiding most tools (a few bridges or tunnels excepted perhaps). In some cases, it's as simple as knowing that a toll-free interstate parallels the toll road if you just go out of your way a few miles once.
I have apps on my phone that will guide you around toll areas, however, and I did do a bit of pre-planning to see my options, but I was driving through the night from DCA to BOS, and back, 10p to 6a, and I really did not want to fool with anything but the quickest path, so paying the tolls was acceptable to me. What caused my anxiety, was the apprehension that the tolls would be accurately calculated, reported to Alamo, and billed to me, and my being aware at the time as I passed through the toll areas, of what they were...I got luck on the former as it appears they were accurately reported, but on the latter, at the time, I did not have a clue how much I was incurring...
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Old Jun 24, 15, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by nacho View Post
I don't agree about these toll roads in FL, so FL is not on our list. Also even if you bought a SUNPASS, there is no guarantee that you are safe. I have seen other FTers bought a Sunpass to avoid being dinged by Avis and it didn't work out. They have to spend a lot of time to dispute with Avis and eventually to their CC issuers.
It's not that hard to avoid this. If you see an expected toll missing from your account, call the SunPass people and have them charge it. Then, when you get the eToll charge send them the proof of payment from the website and they'll reverse their charge. If you add the car's plate to your account it will bill your account even if the transponder doesn't read.

If you don't have a SunPass and accidentally use a cashless road, call the tolling authoirty within a couple of days, give them the plate number, and pay by credit card over the phone and it'll never go to ATS.

It is a bit of a hassle, but only a bit. The bigger PITA is when the credit card on your SunPass account expires and they suspend your account until you clear your balance.
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Old Jun 25, 15, 12:29 pm
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I rented a from Alamo in Chicago and was headed towards NYC.

They offered an UNLIMITED use EZPass (I-Pass) for like $7.99 a day.
Let's just say they lost quite a bit of money on me.

But for Chicago rentals, I can see how they would come out ahead.

Last edited by pushmyredbutton; Jun 25, 15 at 2:25 pm
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Old Feb 17, 16, 7:02 pm
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My daughter drove a Thrifty rental car on two toll roads in a single day. Thrifty is charging us $90 in fees, $15 for each gantry she drove under. Literal highway robbery.
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Old Feb 18, 16, 9:10 am
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I get hung up on not offering the EZ-Pass discount. I understand Budget $4 a day max $16 (or whatever) but they charge for the use of electronic tolls but the CASH price of the toll without the EZ-Pass discount is also charged.
For Verrazano Bridge in NYC that is $16 instead of $11.08, other MTA crossing $8 compared to $5.54, nice little extra for their pocket (or the company they use to process the toll).
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Old Feb 18, 16, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by Brighton Line
I get hung up on not offering the EZ-Pass discount. I understand Budget $4 a day max $16 (or whatever) but they charge for the use of electronic tolls but the CASH price of the toll without the EZ-Pass discount is also charged.
For Verrazano Bridge in NYC that is $16 instead of $11.08, other MTA crossing $8 compared to $5.54, nice little extra for their pocket (or the company they use to process the toll).
If you are unable to obtain your own E-Z Pass transponder before renting the car, you can buy one for cash at the Cash lanes of any MTA bridge or tunnel -- including the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
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