MDX executive answers expressway toll critics

By Richard Yager….

Miami Dade Expressway Authority

In the face of mounting criticism in Kendall, Javier Rodriguez, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority executive director, patiently explained the practices and history of MDX, the “agency of the state” responsible for Sunpass tolling on two major Kendall expressways.

Speaking to a Nov. 8 Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations town meeting audience of more than 50, Rodriguez reviewed MDX operations before facing a barrage of accusations from critics, ranging from “taking over US1” to “stealing the people’s money,” during a question and answer session.

Despite corrections of mistaken statements following a review of MDX’s origination, residents Carlos Garcia and Miller Myers, co-leaders to “Roll Back Tolls” effort on the Shula (SR 874) and Snapper Creek (SR 878) expressways, openly criticized MDX budgeting “without a thought of the people’s pocketbook in hard economic times.”

Garcia stressed that “by 2014, every mile of the Dolphin Expressway [SR 836] will cost you at least a dollar to travel.” Others who commute regularly on the two southwestern expressways have griped since July 17 about the addition of gantries that extract 25 cent and 50 cent tolls, one traveler complaining “you make us detour all around Kendall with them under construction.”

Earlier, Rodriguez described the rationale behind the authority created by Miami- Dade’s Commission and legislators to “better fund Miami expressways.” It came out of an oversight board that was created by the state to monitor Florida Department of Transportation funding and operations in 1988, in part due to dissatisfaction with local distribution of state funds.

That action further motivated officials “to create a way for Miami-Dade to manage and improve local tolled expressways” instead of dependency on the State Department of Transportation.

“The result was the passage of a resolution in 1994 by the Dade Commission to create a separate entity that would separately administer five expressways which then collected tolls at single plazas,” Rodriguez said.

At that time, locations included one near the Orange Bowl at NW 17th Avenue for east and westbound SR 836 (Dolphin Expressway); on the Shula (SR 874) where it connects to Florida’s Turnpike; at the Gratigny, and at a single direction plaza on SR 112 (Airport Expressway).

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4 Comments on "MDX executive answers expressway toll critics"

  1. Tolls by MDX are not regulated by the county or state. Basically, MDX can charge what it wants with little to no input from the drivers that pay the tolls on "their" roads. This "authority" as they call themselves is nothing but a front for autonomous entity that regulates it's self. And we all now know what can happen when this is allowed. MDX claims that putting up more toll gantries, as they have done on 874 and 878 makes it fairer to all users of the highway. The reality is that MDX is now collecting a substantial amount more in tolls than before. But of course they say, it's all in an effort to make it fairer. Just as red light cameras are implemented for “safety” reasons. The majority of the people making the decisions on where to put new tolls and how much to charge don't live anywhere near the tolls.(appointed, not elected volunteer board members) This is "Tollation". Tolling without representation. Go to and educate yourself about the things MDX does not what you to know and the plans they have that will affect you in the future. If you pay the tolls, make your voice heard. Get involved today in the fight against "tollation".

  2. A fair and equitable solution would be to roll back the overall toll rates on these roads by the exact percentage of increased revenue generated from the additional toll sites/gantries. As an example, the toll rate for traveling the full length of the 874 from the turnpike to the Palmetto/Bird Road is currently $1.00. Reducing this by say 25%, from the added revenue MDX now collects, would lower the cost from $1.00 to .75 cents. This would help all toll payers and especially those south of the 874 that have been carrying the full burden of the tolls for many years. And this could be done with little to no additional expense to MDX. Just push a few buttons, click, click, click on the O.R.T. computers and presto! Fairness for all!

  3. Stop Stealing My Money | March 2, 2016 at 11:56 am | Reply

    I pay more in tolls than I do in property taxes! Sales taxes collected by the state should be used to fund the expressways. Tolls are just a way to double tax miami-dade county residents. We will strike back at the polls if they are not rolled back!

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