Bells toll for booths: Automated fares coming to Selmon
March 27, 2010
The tollbooths on the Selmon Crosstown Expressway will go away in the next few months as toll collections become fully automated.
The 60 or so toll worker jobs will disappear as well.
The 12 tolling locations will be replaced by gantries that will have SunPass readers and cameras, rendering toll collection entirely electronic by mid-September. The readers will bill passing motorists who have a SunPass account; for all the others, cameras will record license plates, and motorists will be mailed a bill.
The toll workers are contracted through the Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, which has a contract with Faneuil Inc. of Hampton, Va.
For the toll workers on the Selmon Crosstown Expressway, Fanueil has a subcontract with an Orlando company, said Anna Van Buren, chief executive officer and president of Faneuil. She estimated 75 percent of the crosstown workers are full-time.
The workers have known for a year that the automated change was coming, said Susan Chrzan, a spokeswoman with the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority. The authority operates the Selmon Crosstown Expressway.
She estimated 75 percent of the people who use the Selmon Crosstown Expressway use a SunPass to pay their toll fee. The decreasing number of people who pay cash at the tollbooths has reduced the staff through attrition over the past five years by about 30 percent, Chrzan said.
Of the dozen toll locations on the Selmon Crosstown Expressway, only three have toll collectors, Chrzan said.
The toll is 25 cents cheaper if the commuter uses a SunPass.
The remaining staff will have an opportunity to apply for positions at locations that still have tolls and might be able to transfer to the locations where the turnpike is contracted to hire toll workers, said Christa Deason, a spokeswoman for Florida's Turnpike Enterprise.
The locations include the Veterans Expressway, the Suncoast Parkway, the Sunshine Skyway and the Pinellas Bayway, Deason said.
The Suncoast Parkway and Veterans Expressway also might become automated in the next few years, but funding hasn't been designated, Deason said.
If they aren't hired, the workers will receive assistance in job hunting, job fairs and resume writing, Chrzan said.
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