When different areas each develop their own version of specific electronic capabilities in different places, their interoperability can be…complicated. Case in point, toll transponders.
E-ZPass is available up and down the I-95 corridor from Maine to North Carolina and west to Illinois. It’s even available on select (but not all!) roads in Central Florida. But you can’t use it in, for example, Utah. Or California. Or Michigan. Or lots of other states.
SunPass, E-Pass and LeeWay, which are the 3 (and it used to be 4!) toll transponders in Florida (because 1 transponder made specifically for Florida wasn’t enough?), aren’t compatible with E-ZPass systems, but can be used in Georgia and North Carolina.
Palmetto Pass is the only transponder for the few toll roads in South Carolina and it’s not compatible with any other state’s transponder.
Kansas’ K-Tag can be used in Oklahoma and Texas, and Oklahoma’s Pikepass can be used in Kansas and Texas. Texas’ TollTag can be used in Oklahoma but not Kansas, and its Tx Tag and EZ Tag are ONLY good in Texas. Oh, and none of them are interoperable with any other transponder system.
I think you get the point.
In 2012, the government gave toll operators a 2016 deadline to make their systems compatible. It didn’t happen. So nowadays it just happens by piecemeal. Happily, another piece of the puzzle was just put into place.
E-Pass, which is one of the toll transponders out of Florida, now offers something new, called E-Pass Xtra. It’s completely compatible with the E-Z Pass group, which means it can be used in 18 states.
This is a good thing because although E-Z Pass is available on some roads in Central FL, it doesn’t work on all of them. It also doesn’t work in any other part of Florida. So you couldn’t use it in Tampa or Miami, for example. And as I mentioned earlier, Florida’s SunPass, LeeWay and regular E-Pass couldn’t be used on E-Z Pass roads.
The E-Pass Xtra transponder costs $18.50, plus tax and $10 to activate your E-PASS prepaid toll account. There are no annual contracts or monthly account fees.
Click here for more info or to open an account.
(By the way, there is a transponder, called Bestpass, which works with 95% of toll roads. But it’s only for trucks. They specifically say they can’t current support 2 axle/4 tire vehicles. Pity. Probably just as well, though – their set up charges are $430, and they charge a $13 service fee)
*** Thanks to Steven C. for the heads up about this topic
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary