Florida

Here’s why your SunPass account balance keeps plunging and has to be replenished

Maybe you haven’t driven anything but a stroller for a few days, but have seen your SunPass account drawn down to where it has to be replenished. Or, you’ve been driving normally but your SunPass account looks like it’s being used by every Camaro in Hialeah.

Don’t worry — it’s just your SunPass universe righting itself.

See, contractor Conduent got the job of centralizing and upgrading the SunPass system. Alas, transactions started getting constipated on June 1 as Conduent made its changes. The upgrades weren’t completed by the scheduled June 11 finish. The Florida Department of Transportation began withholding payments in July until Conduent got everything in proper working order.

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That includes applying old transactions to the accounts. Thursday’s daily e-mail from FDOT said 90 percent of the transactions had been cleared, leaving fewer than 32 million transactions remaining.

But that flow hits in chunks, so several days worth of transactions from a few weeks or even a month ago can land on an account in one day.

“Customers will continue to see old transactions posting to their accounts until the backlog is cleared. However, late fees and penalties will not be imposed until the system is providing the benefits and ease of access that SunPass customers deserve and expect,” the FDOT e-mail says. “By removing late fees and penalties, customers can pay off these toll charges as they are able to do so, rather than all at once.”

If this sounds familiar, it happened to Miami-Dade Expressway Authority customers in February at the start of statewide billing consolidation. Charges from as far back as October suddenly poured onto accounts.

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