Port of Miami tolls balloon 67% after finally automating
By Ashley D. Torres
Since switching to an automated tolling system, the Port of Miami has seen a 67% year-over-year increase in toll revenues.
The automated tolling system, which monitors and charges commercial vehicles entering and exiting the seaport, began collecting tolls in October. The seaport has since collected an additional $181,000 in revenues, a 67% year-over-year climb.
And with eight months left in the fiscal year, the seaport is on its way to meeting the estimated $400,000 in additional annual revenues the automated tolling was expected to collect.
Miami-Dade commissioners approved a three-year, $1.3 million contract in September 2009 with Transcore LP for the automated system, which took a year to test and install.
The seaport decided to switch to automated tolling, Director Bill Johnson said, to ensure that everyone is paying their fair share and, by using technology, that 100% of tolls are collected. In the past, the port missed revenues, he said, by having vehicle operators fill out forms that were then verified by port officials.
A 2009 county document identified illegible forms, inaccurate information and vehicles bypassing collection booths, which all contributed to a loss in revenue, as reasons for the fee collecting switch. In addition, an estimated $33,000 was said to be lost each month the system was delayed.
The seaport's switch to automated tolling came roughly nine years after Miami International Airport made the change and more than doubled its ground transportation income.
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