The centerpiece of this new MDX policy is the toll changes that are planned for the 836. Currently at 11 cents per mile, a round trip on 836 from the Turnpike to downtown (30 miles) would cost the tollpayer $3.30 per round trip. If this round trip is made daily, that would equal $72.60 per month (based on a 22-day business month) or $871.20 per year.
MDX will attempt to sell alternate plans to the public, one based on 16 cents per mile and the other based on 17 cents per mile. This roughly 50 percent increase with either plan brings the cost for this same daily business commuter to between $1,300 and $1,400 per year just on this one road. MDX claims that they need to raise an additional $800 million for “much needed projects.”
MDX also announced that it will install ORT or electronic overhead toll collection devices — the same system implemented on the 874 and 878 expressways— on the 836 and 112 expressways. Toll collection gantries will be installed at every on-ramp, and one main gantry will go up at Southwest 57th Avenue. Plus, MDX wants to incorporate the CPI (Consumer Price Indexing) into future toll rate increases.
MDX also wants to eliminate the administrative fee for toll-by-plate users and simply double that toll rate. And there’s a whole lot more of this good stuff in the works for unsuspecting consumers.
The MDX must be stopped. MDX board members and staff are simply out of control and out of touch with reality. These faceless, nameless bureaucrats have no understanding of the financial situation of the average toll-paying commuter who must travel Miami-Dade expressways on a daily basis to get to and from home and work. In the coming months, MDX will do its best to put a “Smiley Face” on this “tollation” (tolling without representation) through public meetings and a public relations campaign. Every Miami-Dade County motorist must be made aware of what is coming and understand the consequences of what these new expressway tolls and toll increases means to their pocketbook.
Carlos Garcia, a Miami native and Kendall resident, is the co-founder/cochair of RollBackTolls.com, a grassroots watch-dog group formed in 2010 to inform the general toll paying commuters of Miami-Dade about MDX (Miami-Dade Expressway Authority) and FDOT (Florida Dept. of Transportation). He may be contacted by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org