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Toll roads coming out of MCO (Orlando Int’l Airport) — all electronic so I can’t pay cash?

Toll roads coming out of MCO (Orlando Int’l Airport) — all electronic so I can’t pay cash?

Wondering about toll fees to travel the freeways from MCO to UnivStudios or WDW. I have driven these before and was able to stop and pay with cash. Today, after reserving a rental car for upcoming trip this year, I received this message from the rental car company:

Please note: There are toll roads within this area that have converted or will be converting to all-electronic tolling or cashless tolling. In these areas, there is no option for a rental car to stop and pay the tolls in cash. If your travels will take you on a toll road in an area where there is no option to stop and pay cash for the tolls, Pass24 is the perfect solution. If you choose not to select the Pass24 pre-paid tolling option and do travel on one of these all-electronic toll roads, and do not have your own tolling device in the vehicle, the applicable toll will be paid for you and an administrative fee of $25.00 will be added to each toll utilized.

Any idea when this change goes into place and how car renters can pay the toll fees?

18 comments
KristinaNorris
KristinaNorris

Going out to the airport in an hour to pick up someone. Is there an attendant on duty to take cash in the toll booths?

TylerSettlement
TylerSettlement

No cash/coin is a terrible idea for casual travelers and visitors.  When they mail you the bill for the toll they will add on a huge mailing/handling fee which increases your cost by triple or more!  I wonder if The consultants are getting favors from all electronic equipment sellers?

Mexican Friend
Mexican Friend

hello guys,i just readed your post, but i need help in conclusions from the airport to the international drive,  in a rental car, how much i suposse to i have to pay on 528 toll road, and can i pay with cash? Thanks

Genie Inabottle
Genie Inabottle

Nothing really said how much the toll is from I-4-528 to mco. Is it not allowable to print this price,,,, really. I am so glad I am not a tourist!!! There are things people like to know BEFORE getting into Orlando

Carol from Canada
Carol from Canada

Hi just to let you know that we were charged after the fact for our Hertz rental on September 30th when we apparently passed through an "electronic" toll on 528 west after leaving the Orlando airport. We stopped and paid a toll at every toll plaza we encountered so it seems this section of highway has in fact converted to electronic and you have no option to pay cash.

Cheri
Cheri

I just want to know HOW MUCH the tolls are?  From MCO to Convention Center?  Convention Center to WDW?  I realize that some may be different than others, just give me an apporiximate? And is it each way? I don't want to be talked into something by the car rental agency without some general knowledge of what I am looking at paying without any rental agency fees or passes.  Thanks! Cannot wait to get to Orlando!

JN
JN

I have had the car rental people charge me subsequently (once) for tolls at a plaza that they said were cashless, right by MCO.  I have never been able to verify that there are cashless tolls in this area by any web search or phone calls to the official toll department, but there have been other reported incidents where people have been charged the same from other car rental companies.

I got a Sunpass for the next trip, and after investing ~$25 in it, putting $10 in the account and mounting it, registering the rental car, etc. on line--they never deducted any money from the Sunpass, and I again got charged by the rental car company.    In retrospect, I might recommend just paying the cash tolls and then paying the occasional fines from the rental car company, because it doesn't seem as though there's any way around it, and there's no way to ensure that the Sunpass will work.

Kate
Kate

How much is the toll from MCO to Universal?

nepalostparks
nepalostparks

Definitely have a few singles and some quarters available and within easy reach when travelling from MCO airport to Disney World or Universal. The main toll plaza generally have both attendant lanes (where you can hand cash/coins to a person and they can make change if necessary) as well as coin only lanes which are unattended. Some of the exits are unattended - meaning you either have to have exact change (in the form of coins you drop in a basket) or have SunPass.

In my opinion, if you are driving from MCO to Disney World property or the 192/Kissimmee area, you should come south out of the airport and use 417, which is a toll road. Our trips using that route have been great, minimal traffic and easy to navigate.

tigger
tigger

When we went at the end of December we picked up our hire car and the rental desk tried to convince us we would need the prepaid Toll option When I asked if there were any tolls where we couldn't pay cash on the exit roads out of MCO She said no but this would save us having to stop at tolls to pay so would save us precious hoilday time. I declined as the cost was an extra $50 for our 2 weeks stay. I was right to decline as although we did use a few tolls and some tolls that were unattended (I made sure we had loads of quaters in the car) it was never a hassle to stop and it cost us a total of $5 maximum!!!! and apart from the tolls on the exit/entrance to MCO we could have avoided a couple of them but it was easier to use that route for us to save us driving out of our way. I suppose if it eventually goes all electronic the rental cars will include the cost in the rental, hope it is more reasonably costed by then :-)

OrlandoInformer
OrlandoInformer

Well, the info in this question was quite a shock to me. I've been living in Orlando for several years and I have never heard about all-electronic tolling. While I do use SunPass when I go through the tolls, I've always seen cash options.

So, I did a little research, and here's what I found out:

All-electronic tolling is real, but not in the Orlando area. It was announced and implemented a few years back in Southern Florida (Miami/Dade county). Here's a news clip from OrlandoSentinel.com:

Already under way, turnpike officials are spending nearly $58 million to install the high-tech overhead equipment on the 47-mile turnpike extension between Miramar and Florida City.

By February 2011, all cash collection on the turnpike's southernmost stretch will end. Toll plazas between the Golden Glades and Interstate 595 will be converted the following year. Eventually, the turnpike will be free of toll booths.

Don't fret if you don't have SunPass. Drivers without transponders will be billed later.

Proponents cite three reasons behind the push to eliminate cash collection: improving safety, eliminating bottlenecks and reducing the actual cost of collecting tolls.

View the full article on OrlandoSentinel.com

If you would like more information about the all-electronic tolling, visit http://www.floridasturnpike.com/all-electronictolling/index.cfm. Among the information on that site, you'll see this YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l36DhqWwbo

And you'll also see a link to this map (PDF file), which confirms that there are no all-electronic tolling booths in the Orlando area.

Want even more information? You can also visit https://www.sunpass.com.

So what does this all mean for you? It simply means that you don't have to worry about the all-electronic tolling as long as you are staying in the Orlando area. That being said, some tolls do not have attendants even if they do take cash (or rather, coins), so it may just be easier to sign up for a pre-paid system like Pass24. As long as you don't have to pay for toll fees you don't use, I think it is worth it. There are definitely tolls on the road between MCO and Universal -- SR 528 (Bee Line/Beach Line Expressway).

Thanks so much for the question. I really like learning about stuff like this!

http://www.orlandoinformer.com/wp-content/uploads/uexc_attach/sun-pass-logo.jpg

OrlandoInformer
OrlandoInformer

On 528 there are two toll plazas between the airport and International Drive, the Beachline Airport Plaza and the Beachline West Main Plaza. (If you’d like, you can see these on a PDF map.) The Airport Plaza is currently $1.25 for regular cars and the West Main Plaza is $1.00. Both accept cash -- I feel confident saying this because I travel through them often (in fact, I just did last Thursday to pick up my sister from the airport.).

What probably happened is that missed where you have to pull off to pay the toll with cash. If you just drive straight down the highway, you will go through the electronic scanning area for drivers with EPass and SunPass. If you are not looking for the signs, or if you are distracted (who doesn't get excited about landing in Orlando!), this would be a somewhat easy mistake to make. In other words, you have to make a point of pulling over to the toll booths to pay cash if you don't have an electronic pass. If you just drive straight and don't pull over, you'll go underneath the huge electronic scanner and you won't know the difference. The scanner just takes a pictures of your license plate from the back and the owner is electronically contacted.

Hope that makes sense!

Kristine
Kristine

To JN: The reason that your $25 Portable SunPass purchase may not have worked with the vehicle that you rented is that in order for your SunPass to work you must enter the details of the ownership of the vehicle including the license plate.  Perhaps  because the license plate isn't registered to you (but to the rental company), SunPass did not accept your SunPass payment?

Also, there is a delay in the activation of new transponders.  The SunPass manual indicates that if you activate your SunPass before noon that it should be ready to be used by 4pm.  And, if you activate it after noon, then it should be ready to use by the next day at 6am.  So, it's possible that even though you registered your new SunPass online that it wasn't yet activated in the SunPass System.  Here's a link to the SunPass manual:  https://www.sunpass.com/pdf/MANUAL_E.pdf

It really doesn't seem like the SunPass is a good option for rental cars with the delay in activation.

Has anyone had trouble paying with cash in the last few months?  From the research that I've done online, cash is still accepted at tolls in the Orlando area.  Is this correct?

Legion 100
Legion 100

Since it's now 2014 have electronic toll roads been extended. If paying by cash is no longer possible what is the best option for a car hiring tourist. Any place I can get info. Was intending to use Alamo but can't seem to email them via their web site.

JN
JN

In theory, according to the rental companies, it's supposed to be able to work as long as you register all the license information with SunPass.  When I called, the SunPass people on the phone said that the delayed activation was outdated information, because it can apparently be activated within a few minutes now.  The kicker, of course, is that I subsequently tried again and activated the transponder by calling up and having the SunPass person put in all the information, and verified exactly where I suctioned it.  This time, I ended up driving to the airport an hour after the SunPass was supposed to be deactivated for the rental car, so I paid for the toll in cash...and, of course, this time, the charge went through flawlessly, so I wound up paying for the toll twice.  Feh.

OrlandoInformer
OrlandoInformer

Yes,  cash is accepted at all the tolls around the Orlando area, and will be for the foreseeable future.

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