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Better Toll Road Transponder

dayooper

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Quick question, we will be driving from Michigan to both Chicago and Orlando this year and would like to use a transponder. Both E-ZPass and Sun Pass Pro work in both trips (might use in Ohio and Indiana in the future). Which would be the best choice or most cost efficient, especially if we might not use it every year.
 

bnoble

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The first thing I'd look for is to make sure there are no ongoing fees when you aren't otherwise using it. After that, see if one or the other will discount tolls in Illinois or Florida.
 

callwill

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Also look to see if there is a user discount in the state of primary use before obtaining one.
 

dayooper

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Also look to see if there is a user discount in the state of primary use before obtaining one.
I’ve checked the E-ZPass and there is a yearly fee. Ohio is the cheapest at $6. I have not found out anything about Sun Pass Pro.
 

callwill

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My NY EZ pass has no fee and i get a discount on NYS tolls.
I picked mine up at a grocery store for 25 bucks, that 25 bucks goes towards tolls. Need to link it to a bank account or credit card to automatically refill and use the net to look at statements to avoid fees.
 

Passepartout

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Uhhh. What's a 'transponder'? Wassa 'toll road'? Don'tcha pay for the roads at the gas pump? WassamattaU?
 
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Uhhh. What's a 'transponder'? Wassa 'toll road'? Don'tcha pay for the roads at the gas pump? WassamattaU?
As a 40 year resident of the Orlando area, Florida toll roads are a waste of money. Wherever you need to go, take local roads and/or I-4. There are always alternate routes. Paying tolls so you can save an 5 extra minutes isn't worth it. I know in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it's almost required to pay tolls, same with northern Ohio, Indiana, and Chicago.

TS
 

PigsDad

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As a 40 year resident of the Orlando area, Florida toll roads are a waste of money.
So you don't think it is worth $2.94 to take the 4-lane, I-75 across Alligator Alley (about 75 miles) vs. the 2-lane US 41? Or a lousy $1.07 to cross the Sunshine Skyway bridge vs. driving clear around Tampa Bay? These were just two of our most recent toll charges on our SunPass account. Florida has very reasonable tolls vs. many parts of the country. For example, in Colorado it can cost you up to $40 to drive in the Express Lane for 13 miles on I-70 west of Denver (dynamic demand-based pricing).

Thanks for the opinion, but I think there are many places in Florida where the tolls are a bargain.

Kurt
 
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Brett

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As a 40 year resident of the Orlando area, Florida toll roads are a waste of money. Wherever you need to go, take local roads and/or I-4. There are always alternate routes. Paying tolls so you can save an 5 extra minutes isn't worth it. I know in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it's almost required to pay tolls, same with northern Ohio, Indiana, and Chicago.

TS

sure, there are alternate routes but if one values their time Florida road tolls can be worth it.
 

dioxide45

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As a 40 year resident of the Orlando area, Florida toll roads are a waste of money. Wherever you need to go, take local roads and/or I-4. There are always alternate routes. Paying tolls so you can save an 5 extra minutes isn't worth it. I know in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it's almost required to pay tolls, same with northern Ohio, Indiana, and Chicago.

TS
Tolls in Ohio are mostly a northern Ohio thing. We never paid a toll in Ohio when we lived in southwest Ohio for nearly 20 years. We Have a Sunpass now living in Florida and love the I4 Express Lanes when going from Jacksonville to the WDW area. While we could drive in the non toll lanes, we avoid most of the crazies by taking the Express Lanes. Did the same thing on a drive up from Miami yesterday. The Express Lanes are worth the few bucks. A bill was signed in December to provide a 50% rebate for those that use their transponder to pay 35 or more tolls in a month. That won't help us, but I certainly won't go out of my way on traffic ridden side roads to avoid a few cents or even a buck on tolls. I couldn't imagine the path I would have to take to get from south of Orlando to the beaches (Cocoa) without taking the Beachline (toll).
 

jwalk03

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I have the NC Quick Pass. It has no annual fee, and the transponder cost less than $10 to purchase. Works in NC, GA, FL and all the EZ Pass states.
 

Talent312

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I think there are many places in Florida where the tolls are a bargain.
I concur.
The Sanibel Island causeway is not a bargain, but worth it, nonetheless.
--------------------
OTOH, you can do quite well w/o tolls in Orlando, if you know the roads.
Much less nerve wracking, too.
 

5finny

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Glad I saw this post
I have the Illinois I-Pass
Turns out it can be used on all Florida toll roads
Most may already have known that but I did not
 

louisianab

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An enthusiastic YES to using the E-ZPass or other valid transponder if going to Chicago city proper, on the 80/90 thru Indiana and over the Skyway. Much less important if you want to just take 94/294 around to the suburbs or Wisconsin or are just going to O'Hare.
 

dayooper

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Thanks everybody for the input. I bought a Sun Pass Pro. It was $25 ($15 for the transponder and $10 prepaid tolls). I do not see a yearly fee as the E-ZPass states do. They are sending it in the mail and will be here next week in time for our Chicago trip at the end of the month.
 

JudyH

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Thanks everybody for the input. I bought a Sun Pass Pro. It was $25 ($15 for the transponder and $10 prepaid tolls). I do not see a yearly fee as the E-ZPass states do. They are sending it in the mail and will be here next week in time for our Chicago trip at the end of the month.
Good decision. I have the Florida one and it came in handy going thru Boston onto Cape Cod.
 

Jan M.

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Last year we replaced our Sun Pass transponder with a Sun Pass Pro. The Pro worked in more states for an extended trip we were taking.
 

bnoble

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I have an E-Pass Xtra, which is the predecessor of the Uni from the Central FL Expressway. $15 for the device, no other fees beyond the tolls. It is portable, and works pretty much everywhere, though I suspect I'll need to upgrade the transponder eventually. You do need to manually register it to each car as you move it, though. If you forget to move it off of your rental car, you'll be paying for the next customer(s) tolls. (I speak from experience here.)

 

Patricia9

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Thanks everybody for the input. I bought a Sun Pass Pro. It was $25 ($15 for the transponder and $10 prepaid tolls). I do not see a yearly fee as the E-ZPass states do. They are sending it in the mail and will be here next week in time for our Chicago trip at the end of the month.
I hate tolls, last time I went to Chicago they had changed things so much I missed 2 of them and had to pay when I got home. I'm just going the stay here in the 906 where there are none.
 

dayooper

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I hate tolls, last time I went to Chicago they had changed things so much I missed 2 of them and had to pay when I got home. I'm just going the stay here in the 906 where there are none.
Love me the 906! So many cool locations in the UP, but Marquette will always be my favorite. Proud NMU grad who got to play in the Yooper Dome. Portside Inn was my old haunt, but Blackrocks (the park and brew house) are fun as well. Cliff dove into Gitchee Goomie several times as a younger person.

Michigan has hardly any toll roads. The only toll even close to the UP is the on The Mighty Mac.
 

dago

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I’ve checked the E-ZPass and there is a yearly fee. Ohio is the cheapest at $6. I have not found out anything about Sun Pass Pro.
The annual fee for Ohio E-ZPass is $9.00. $.75 a month. At least, that's what I pay.
 

Roger830

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We have two free E-ZPass transponders from New York.

Late January, we drove from Panama City Beach to Pompano and the transponder worked fine on the Florida Turnpike replacing Sun Pass.
It was a pleasure avoiding our usual route in FL from CT, I-95. I didn't even bother to total the cost of the tolls.
 

bankr63

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I don't think I've seen one of the OPs question answered. There are no annual fees for Sun Pass Pro. We've had Pro for over a year now (had regular SP for several years) and there are no fees. But you do end up with a bit of a balance sitting in your account between uses. Ours topped up using it on the US to Canada toll bridge on the way home last March, so there's been a few bucks sitting there for the past year - we drive south again next Friday. And yes, you get better discounts on some of the Florida tolls - depends who operates that section. Works seamlessly with EZ-Pass for us mostly. We did have one toll on the Charlotte NC stretch do a toll by plate instead of transponder, but the rest of the gantries picked up the transponder fine and it looks like they charged us the transponder fee.
 
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