Skip to comments.Miami's Toll Roads Are Huge Scams That Must Be Eliminated
Posted on 04/14/2018 10:53:53 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
It's time to mount a serious campaign to end tolls in Miami-Dade County. Any time the government wants to charge people money, we should be allowed to vote on it. Florida's Turnpike Enterprise and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) are highway robbers preying on predominantly poor motorists struggling to have a roof over their heads, put food on the table, and take care of their families.
I remember the days when there was only one toll on State Road 112 when you left Miami International Airport to get to Miami Beach. Now there are tolls on virtually every major highway in the county. Worse yet, Florida's Turnpike and MDX took down all the toll plazas and charge more money if drivers don't get a SunPass. Cameras take pictures of license plates every time you travels these toll roads, and months later you get a bill for hundreds of dollars. It's ridiculous.
MDX is a joke. It was created in 1994 by the Florida Legislature and the county commission under the premise that Miami-Dade would do a better job of operating local roads such as the Airport Expressway and the Gratigny Parkway.
The authority is controlled by a board of nine members, eight of whom are local business and civic leaders appointed by the governor and the county commission. In other words, the politicians created an entity that is accountable only to them, not the residents of Miami-Dade.
According to MDX's toll-rate schedule, it would cost a commuter who crosses all five expressways from beginning to end $85.75 during a five-day workweek with a SunPass. Without a Sunpass, the cost jumps to $171.50. And that doesn't include all the service charges MDX tacks on, including a fee just to send you a bill. Yearly, it would cost a motorist $8,232 to use all the expressways under MDX's jurisdiction. Imagine how much more money it costs drivers who have to tack on trips on Florida's Turnpike.
The most recent U.S Census data shows the median household income in Miami-Dade is $44,224. It's less than half of that amount for African-American households. Think about the single moms working two jobs who have to drive these expressways to drop off their children, or the construction worker going home from the job site in downtown Miami to Little Havana. Then there are the people living in South Miami-Dade who have to commute in two to three hours of rush-hour traffic each way.
They are paying to sit in gridlock that has been amplified by the nonstop reconstruction of roadways and the interchanges on the Dolphin Expressway. This is not Dubai, where everyone is an oil sheik who can treat tolls like pocket change. But if anyone tried to put tolls on the William Lehman Causeway by Aventura or the Julia Tuttle and MacArthur Causeways into Miami Beach, watch how fast the rich people from those cities would shut it down.
Meanwhile, MDX is flush with cash. It has spent more than $3.3 billion on expressway projects since its inception and is about to complete a five-year capital improvement program to replace and repair the existing program and build new toll roads that costs more than $1.4 billion. Yet there are serious concerns about the way MDX manges its purse strings. Just last month, the authority lost a major lawsuit. A judge ruled it has to pay an ex-contractor, Electronic Transactions Consultants Corp., $53.3 million for damages incurred by the firm and interest.
It's time to get a petition going and let the people decide if we want to abolish tolls.
Pfft! The Garden State Parkway and The New Jersey Turnpike are the biggest toll road scams in the nation.
When I lived in Central Florida, the more I heard about Miami, the more I appreciated Orlando.
And yet the tollways are constantly jammed. Guess people don’t mind paying the tolls to get to where they need to be. Anyone who doesn’t want to pay can take surface roads. If anything, the tolls should be increased during rush hour to reduce the gridlock.
Also, is the author Luther Campbell from 2 Live Crew? That would explain the middle school level of writing.
I’m from Jersey. Sounds like you never went to Pennsylvania.
Indeed, it is the same Luther Campbell, I don’t know why he’s writing newspaper columns on toll roads.
My daughter lived in Pennsylvania and she hated it. Then she moved to New Jersey, and prayed she could get back to Pennsylvania.
Everybody say, “Heyyyyyyyy, we want some free roads!”
Not nearly as much of a rip-off as Atlanta’s new limousine/ rich people lanes. Or Virginia’s wealthy people’s expressway to D.C.
All toll roads are vicious scams that must be eliminated!
Are you kidding? We’ve had the GSP since 1949. First the toll was 10 cents. Now it’s a buck fifty. Nothing but a bloody political patronage mill.
My Dad and my two sisters live in Emmaus. I’ve been to PA a million times.
I wonder if the Miami-Herald will do an honest investigation on the increased spending, that never seems to end, due to illegal immigration and the recent influx of “refugees” from Puerto Rico. The PRs were getting checks before and they’re going to continue to get checks. The illegals know that all they have to do is, pop out a citizen at the nearest hospital in Miami and they start collecting checks. Those checks cost money. The money has to come from somewhere. And, unless their rich, liberal Master’s allow it, taxes aren’t going to be raised. So, get the money from the folks you can. The ones without any political clout. The one’s that pay the bills.
Its like NJ - you cant leave the state without paying a toll .....
Heck; it's even a tax on those just passing through; like hotels and motels.
Toll roads are not scams. There’s no free lunch. Somebody has to pay for constructing and maintaining highways. Better to have the users pay for them than the general taxpayers. Also, the tolls give users who can delay trips an incentive to delay them from peak hours, thereby relieving the congestion experienced by those who would find delay more costly to them. Package delivery companies follow the same principle when they charge more for expedited service, and only socialists raise soak-the-poor arguments against that.
Somebody has to pay for constructing and maintaining highways.
They do. Its called fuel tax.
There are too many roads as is.
>>I remember the days when there was only one toll on State Road 112 when you left Miami International Airport to get to Miami Beach
“FIRST they came for the tourists, but I wasn’t I tourist so I said nothing”
If you look at major cities, this is happening at several levels, not just in transportation.
Houston has outsourced operation of parks and venues to a private entity. The private yet publicly funded convention center bureau was getting $20,000,000 a year with no review of how that money was being spent (something like 60& of employees were receiving $100,000+ a year).
In December, ABC13 requested pay information for Houston First employees, including overtime and bonus amounts for each employee. A representative responded and told ABC13 no information existed because the tourism company employed no one.
Upon further investigation, ABC13 uncovered CCSI and asked it for the same pay information. There is no mention of CCSI in Houston First budget documents this year or its annual outside audit.
The same representative from HoustonFirst, but this time on CCSI letterhead, told ABC13 that the information was not public and the company would appeal to the Attorney General to keep the pay information secret, claiming the employees did not work for the city of Houston. Those employees sit in government-owned chairs, at government-owned desks, doing government jobs, despite CCSI’s claim they are not government employees...
CCSI employs 232 people. Sixty of them make more than $100,000 a year. Ten make more than $200,000.
Those traffic light cameras were also a public-private partnership (where half of the ticket money went to the connected interests, sometimes with private kickback for the members of the police who were bought by lobbyists).
Speaking publicly in favor of red light cameras is earning favors for Texas police officers. Garland Police Lieutenant Pedro J. Barineau appeared in a political advertisement generated on behalf of the red light camera industry in full uniform.
“Any legislation that would outlaw the use of automated red light enforcement sends a dangerous message,” the officer intones. “Let's not send that message, keep red light cameras in Texas.”
As Texas is one of the four most lucrative markets for automated ticketing, Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) have poured a great deal of cash into lobbying in Austin. In some cases, however, taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for the lobbying.
And the stadium revenue from concerts, etc. doesn't all go to the city (even though we are the landlord).
Cities have SOLD YOU OUT to connected private interests who want "their" money coming in every month.