Drivers who use the N.C. Quick Pass transponder to pay for trips on North Carolina’s Triangle Expressway now can use it on toll roads and bridges in Florida, the state Department of Transportation said Monday.
Florida’s SunPass transponder, used by 4 million drivers, also is good for travel on North Carolina’s only toll road, the Triangle Expressway, DOT said.
“This is an exciting step forward for North Carolina and the tolling industry,” Tony Tata, the North Carolina transportation secretary, said in a statement. “I’m proud that our Turnpike Authority staff developed the technology and established the agreement necessary to allow N.C. Quick Pass to operate interchangeably with the SunPass system.”
The Florida-North Carolina agreement follows on the heels of a bigger deal that took effect in January involving North Carolina’s transponder and the E-ZPass, used by 23 million drivers on toll roads in 14 Northeastern states.
North Carolina came late to the toll-road business, but it has become a leader in efforts to make electronic toll payment more convenient for truckers and other travelers who drive on turnpikes in states that use different toll-payment technologies. A North Carolina driver’s N.C. Quick Pass now is accepted for toll payments from Illinois and Maine to Virginia – E-ZPass territory – and on all toll roads and most toll bridges in Florida.
The state DOT ran into trouble in January after its new partnership with E-ZPass got underway, with hundreds of drivers double-billed because their cars were equipped with both brands of transponders.
DOT said Monday it has conducted tests to make sure there will be no more double-billing. To avoid confusion, DOT recommends that drivers avoid traveling with more than one transponder in the car.
E-ZPass toll roads now recognize only the N.C. Quick Pass “hard case” transponders and not the simpler windshield stickers used by most of the 43,000 N.C. Quick Pass drivers. But SunPass and Quick Pass sticker transponders will work interchangeably, DOT said, as long as the SunPass is used in a car whose license number is associated with a SunPass account.
Transponder users deposit money with their respective toll agencies, and the cost of each trip is deducted from their accounts. In North Carolina, cars without transponders are billed at a higher rate for each trip, based on photos of their license tags.
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