Florida likes its toll roads. Toll gates loom over every route, like giant metal bottlenecks in your destination game. For years we collected our coins and threw them at the toll basket at speeds becoming only professional basketball players come racecar drivers. This was how we prevailed against the iron traffic stoppers. We crossed our fingers for short lineups and grumbled when we were caught in a long one. This was not smart. 2017 was the year of toll road awakening. 

Crossing the Florida border, fresh out of Georgia, we stopped at a rest station, where a SunPass vending machine caught my eye. Like rays of sunshine straight from efficiency heaven, I put $5 into the machine and out popped a SunPass sticker. I stuck it on the windshield and followed the directions. Using my phone, I activated my sticker online and loaded $20 onto it from my visa (or PayPal) at sunpass.com. It took 10 minutes from the time the vending machine dropped my SunPass into my life until we were no longer chained by coins and toll lane queues. I feel like a money-saving time-saving genius. 

Windshield sticker

            Portable transponder

As you drive through the SunPass lane, the proper toll amount is taken off of your prepaid account, and the card replenishes itself whenever it gets down to $10. I don’t even now it’s doing it. I just know that I don’t have to pick through the fluff at the bottom of my purse or perform coin-finding acrobatics in the passenger seat.

I now mentally point a finger of ha-ha! at the Luddite coin-tossers every time we drive by a booth, speedometer steady, brake lights unlit, figuratively patting myself on the back for putting us in the fast lane like the technological goddess I apparently am.

You can purchase (and replenish) your SunPass freedom at any of the 5000+ sales locations around Florida, including Publix, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, and welcome centres. The vending machines are available 24/7. If you prefer a portable transponder that you can transfer between vehicles it’ll run you $20 instead of $5 but the loading process is the same (online). If you don’t want automatic top-up, you can replenish your SunPass account with cash at any of the SunPass locations for a $1.50 fee. And if you want to be really on top of the SunPass game, you can purchase a transponder or sticker online at sunpass.com and it mails to you within 7 days. Flip the bird to toll booth traffic. Buy a SunPass and enjoy more of your vacation. Happy driving!

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