Letters to the Editor

Toll caps ease traffic and help truckers

Miami-Dade County’s two largest economic engines — Miami International Airport and PortMiami — had a record year in 2015.

No. 1 in the United States for international freight, MIA handled 84 percent of all air imports and 81 percent of all exports from the Latin American and Caribbean regions. It has an economic impact of $32.8 billion and generates about 272,400 jobs to our economy a year.

PortMiami last year welcomed 4.9 million passengers to the Cruise Capital of the World. Approximately 20,000 vehicles travel to and from PortMiami on any given day; freight and truck traffic make up about 28 percent. A viable transportation system in Miami-Dade is critical for the freight industry to continue to thrive.

In recent years, transportation has been at the forefront of a community discussion about ways to reduce traffic congestion. Part of that dialogue has been the use of tolled expressways. The freight industry and its commercial drivers, many of whom are small business owners, rely on tolled expressways like State Roads 836, 112 and 924 to move goods. Without these expressways our industry would be crippled.

Through a series of meetings, in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and local partners, including Seaboard Marine, Salom Transportation, PRO Transportation and Quality Container Transportation, we were able to develop the MDX Multi-Axle Discount Program. Launched in December 2014, it capped the SunPass rate for multi-axle vehicles at the rate for three-axle vehicles.

This cap resulted in lower tolls for our industry, making it possible for truckers to make more trips and stay off of surface streets, which results in safer, less-congested neighborhoods.

I thank MDX for its partnership in helping our industry to continue to thrive.

Jorge Rovirosa, owner,

Florida Stevedoring, Miami