Traffic

Miami-Dade expressway agency approves toll refunds

"Welcome to Miami" sign located on the toll taker eastbound on the 836 approaching downtown.
"Welcome to Miami" sign located on the toll taker eastbound on the 836 approaching downtown. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Freeway commuters could get back about $3 million in toll refunds this year under the terms of a rebate program approved by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority on Tuesday.

“I think $3 million is a realistic number,” said outgoing chairwoman Maritza Gutiérrez after the MDX board of directors adopted the refund program. “That’s what it looks like, anyway.”

The board voted 15-0 to refund any money left over from last year’s wildly unpopular $52 million toll increase once construction costs and debt service are paid.

MDX expects to run a surplus this year after its credit rating was upgraded from A-minus to A, which will make it cheaper to borrow to borrow for highway expansion and maintenance.

“Any money that is not used as intended goes back to the customer,” Gutiérrez declared.

Anybody who has a SunPass, pays at least $100 a year in tolls and registers for the MDX Advantage Program, the authority’s frequent-driver group, will be eligible for a refund.

How much the rebates will be depends on the exact size of the MDX surplus and how many drivers register for the program. But in various examples provided by MDX numbers-crunchers, the refunds ranged from $80 to $100 a year for drivers who pay $400 in annual tolls to $40 to $50 for somebody who pays $200.

MDX will figure its surplus in October and expects to mail out rebate checks in December, Gutierrez said. The surplus will be recalculated each year.

MDX directors also voted to extend registration for the MDX Advantage Program, which closed in April. It will reopen from July 13 through August 31 at http://www.mdxway.com/advantage

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