Friday, June 7

Sunpass, with more states coming soon...

Sunpass and KTag
Here's the text from the Sunpass website that's probably been on the website for the past several years (since mid 2018 for sure):
SunPass transponders also work in Georgia and North Carolina with more states coming soon.
I am not entirely sure why the toll systems in the US have decided not to follow the federal law requiring them to achieve interoperabilty. I assume Sunpass (with all its problems) does not meet the minimum standards set forth by the EZPass group. It's a set of rules that does not allow for fraud, so it's not in tune to Florida business practices.



While we wait for our Sunpasses to be more useful, EZPass has built the following alliances:
Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
Burlington County Bridge Commission
Delaware Department of Transportation
Delaware River and Bay Authority
Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission
Delaware River Port Authority
Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, LLC
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Maryland Transportation Authority
Maine Turnpike Authority
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels
Niagara Falls Bridge Commission
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
Central Florida Expressway
New Jersey Turnpike Authority
New York State Bridges Authority
New York State Thruway Authority
Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority
Skyway Concession Company
South Jersey Transportation Authority
Virginia Department of Transportation (Serves as the primary agency for the 9 independent toll agencies within the State of Virginia)
West Virginia Parkway Authority
North Carolina Turnpike Authority
Kentucky Public Transportaion Infrastructure Authority
Thousand Islands Bridge Authority
I probably don't have to create a huge list as to why Sunpass is awful. The preceding list is enough for me. Actually, any pass that is not part of some kind of national toll pass group is a problem in my book. If all the entities that are part of EZPass can agree on a system, then the others need to figure out a way to join. There's also the issue of Sunpass mismanagement and possible favoritism in government contracts, but that's just Florida politics.

Actually, the Central Florida Expressway IS part of the EZPass group. I have no idea why. The passes that are rotting on their own in America include those in Florida, Georgia, Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Kansas. I had a K-Tag in Kansas, and it was pretty stupid, like the Sunpass. Of course, Florida, Texas, and California all probably think they are too good for some kind of national system, and we'd assume it's bureaucracy in California and fraud in Texas and Florida.

Sunpass lets us use the transponders in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. That's fine for people who don't travel much, but I'll be heading through Illinois again, and it's just stupid to have a useless pass that has all the technology needed to pay my tolls there. My family was also considering a trip to the Northeast at some point, and Sunpass would again leave us hanging.

The Peach Pass allows people to use the pass in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, so it's about as useless as the Sunpass. It also has a website that doesn't work in Chrome (video). If you have a website that doesn't work, let me know. I build ones that work.

So Is There A Good Toll Pass For Floridians?

The North Carolina pass, for some reason, allows Peach Passes and Sunpasses, but it's also part of EZPass system. If I'm right, and I think I am, everyone in Florida should get a North Carolina pass. Here's the email I sent to the folks at NC Quick Pass:
I live in Florida. I would rather have a pass that works everywhere than the Sunpass. Your pass is supposed to work in Florida in the sunpass areas, as well as Georgia. And I assume it works throughout the Northeast through to Illinois as part of the EZPass. My question is whether or not a North Carolina pass would work for all of that. If so, doesn't it make sense for Florida drivers to get the NC pass instead of our own, which only works in three states? Is there a reason to have a Florida pass instead?
I didn't want to wait for a response, since I am sure I'm right, so I called to see how quickly I could get a NCQuickPass with EZPass included. 5-7 business days. If you're making this call right before a trip, then it might not work. However, if you have the good sense to plan your trip ahead of time, then the NC Quick Pass is a better all-around option for people in Florida than the Sunpass. That's sad.

[UPDATE]
The folks in North Carolina got me the QuickPass within 5 business days. That meant that I had the pass for going on my trip north. 

I later read an article that claimed many states have started charging more than the posted electronic pass amount to anyone from out of state.  That sucks but also I don't care. I want one pass for the convenience, not six passes for the savings.

UPDATE 2
The NCQuickpass worked on a toll bridge crossing from Kentucky to Indiana, as well as in Illinois. Make sure you get the one with E-ZPass as part of the description. Also, if you use the Sunpass enough to get a discount, then reconsider the single pass solution, since the only discount I'll get is in North Carolina.

UPDATE 3
The NCQuickpass seems to have worked all through Illinois a second time, and even though it took us three hours to get around Chicago, we didn't have to waste time paying the tolls in cash or later online. The last test will be on the Sunpass network to see what happens. The website for the QuickPass is pretty awful, but I have it set to autofill, which it's already done at this point, so it's more of a question of faith in the transponder doing its job.

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