Posted: 8:08 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013

Tossing coins into Turnpike toll baskets about to get trickier

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New Turnpike toll baskets photo
New Turnpike toll baskets

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

For those who pay cash at any of Florida's turnpike tollbooths, the wait is about to get a bit longer.

The turnpike is changing all of its tollbooth baskets, forcing drivers to come to a complete stop.

Drivers who roll through turnpike tolls will have to maneuver the wheel to get closer to the toll bin.

"When you pulled up there you didn't even know where the little hole was at," said driver Marvin Edwards. "It's like when you go to the circus and they have these little games where you can throw money into a bottle or a tray or something."

WFTV's Racquel Asa watched drivers at a tollbooth at State Road 50 in Oakland. Many appeared to have a hard time reaching the smaller bins. Some even opened their doors because they didn't get close enough.

"This is a hazard change," said Edwards.

Turnpike representatives said the wider baskets were switched out because when drivers threw coins, they often bounced out. They said some drivers would even open their car doors to pick up their change and have their cars roll off because they didn't put them in park.

Over the next five months, the turnpike will swap out the change baskets on all 312 miles of the turnpike, from Interstate 75 to Miami, also on the northern portion of State Road 417 in Seminole County and on the Beachline between Interstate 4 and the turnpike.

Edwards said he spends $6-$7 a day on tolls. He said this will make the wait longer in the cash lanes.

He said he thinks the change is really an attempt to force him and others to switch to SunPass transponders.

"This is not fair for them to force us to do anything," said Edwards.

Turnpike representatives said drivers are supposed to stop at cash toll lanes because they are narrower compared to SunPass lanes.

They told Asa that drivers who are in a hurry should get a SunPass to avoid the extra time at the toll booths.

 

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