Florida Keys

After a year of no tolls, Card Sound Road bridge in Keys will get electronic payments

‘Cowboy’ works his last day collecting tolls at Card Sound Road

The human toll collectors on Card Sound Road collected fares from travelers to and from the Keys for 48 years. On Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, they collected their last tolls before being replaced by SunPass machines.
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The human toll collectors on Card Sound Road collected fares from travelers to and from the Keys for 48 years. On Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, they collected their last tolls before being replaced by SunPass machines.

The electronic toll system for Card Sound Road is scheduled to begin operating on Saturday, Oct. 20, according to Monroe County.

The county removed the manned cash toll booth last August; tolls haven’t been collected since then.

Card Sound Road is one of two roads that lead in and out of the Florida Keys from the mainland. Most drivers use the 18-mile stretch of U.S. 1, but many use Card Sound Road as an alternative. The two-lane highway leads to the exclusive Ocean Reef Club and to the popular Alabama Jacks bar and grill.

Tolls will be collected through either SunPass transponders or drivers will be billed through Florida’s Toll-by-Plate system, Cammy Clark, spokeswoman for Monroe County, said in a press release. However, instead of the normal $1.50 toll, those paying through Toll-by-Plate will be charged an additional monthly administrative fee of $2.50. These drivers will receive a bill in the mail, Clark said.

The toll for vehicles with more than two axles is $1 per axle.

Discount programs are available for two-axle vehicle cars and trucks only, and eligible vehicles must have a SunPass transponder, according to the county press release.

The county also has a frequent user program where SunPass users automatically receive a 40-percent rebate after a person makes 28 one-way trips through the toll during any calendar month. No registration is required.

Monroe County also has an annual pass for $360. Participants must use SunPass. The pass is only valid for the vehicle and license plate registered with SunPass.

According to the press release, discount programs do not apply to vehicles towing boats or trailers. Those vehicles are subject to tolls for vehicles with more than two axles. Trips made with trailers will also not count toward the rebate program, according to the press release.

SunPass transponders cost $4.99 and are available at many major retailers in the state, including Publix, CVS, Walgreens and all Turnpike service plaza gift shops. They can also be bought online at www.SunPass.com or by calling 1-888-TOLL-FLA.

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