Venetian Causeway will be converting to Sun Pass

By fall, toll collection on the Venetian Causeway will convert to Sun Pass, and island residents will be turning in their C Pass transponders.

Miami-Dade County’s Causeway Division — which oversees tolls on the Venetian and Rickenbacker causeways — is making the change on the Rickenbacker first, said Michael Bauman, causeways division chief for Miami-Dade Public Works.

Bauman says his best guess is the Rickenbacker transition will happen in June or July, and the Venetian change-over will take place around October.

As residents of the Venetian islands know, if you live on the causeway, you can purchase a C Pass transponder and pay $24 a year to cross the Venetian Causeway. If you don’t live on the island, the annual fee is $90. Without a transponder, it costs $1.50 every time a car crosses the toll booth on the west end of Biscayne Island.

After the conversion to Sun Pass, Venetian residents will still pay the $24 annual fee. There is no increase in tolls planned.

C Pass owners must renew their pass each May, and this year will be no different.  During the summer, the county will begin an informational campaign on the change to Sun Pass, Bauman said.

“You’ll renew as normal,” he said. “When we get closer, we’ll advise everyone with an active account about the changes.”

The county will hold meetings with causeway homeowner groups and also have representatives  visit condos on Biscayne and Belle Isle to give residents the opportunity to turn in their C Pass transponders have their Sun Pass converted to work  at the causeway toll booth.

After the transition, the county will continue to maintain one toll booth lane east and west for drivers paying cash, but the Sun Pass devices will work on all lanes.

It should enable smoother traffic flow, Bauman said, but the county still wants the toll plaza to serve as a “calming” influence to ensure the causeway doesn’t become a speedway.

It’s a road that has lots of bicycle and foot traffic, in addition to being completely residential.

“It’s important that we don’t turn it into a throughway,” Bauman said.

In addition to no longer needing two transponders, the new system will allow people to renew and pay their annual fee online, without having to mail in paper work to prove residency, Bauman said.

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11 responses to “Venetian Causeway will be converting to Sun Pass

  1. Are you kidding! Thousands of us bought property on the Venetian Causeway knowing that we are able to get off the islands on which we live for a set annual fee. It is horribly unfair to change this and lock us in! If there is not a resident rate (which is not clear from the article), it is effectively and end-around the homestead protections by imposing a tax on us to get out of our houses. This amounts to not a doubling, not a tripling, not ten times, but more like a 50x to 100x increase in tolls for the residents, and in absolute terms a tax increase that equals a significant percentage of a property tax bill. (For example, a household such as mine that pays approx. $6000 in property tax will now pay at least $7500, or a 25 % increase in our bill to the County in just one year!!!! (We have 2 workers working at disparate locations in Miami, and so cross through the toll 2 times each per day, assuming a toll of $1.50 per crossing or $6 per work day times 250 work days per year or $1500). This does not even count weekends or other trips!Plus it is stupid traffic policy and stupid development policy, as all this will do is increase traffic on a two lane road lined with houses, used by joggers and cyclists, and with historic bridges. Through traffic should be encouraged to stay on the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle and not use the Venetian. Despite the moronic move of digging the port tunnel to Watson Island, instead of west of downtown — the MacArthur and the Julia Tuttle are the roads built to handle the through traffic. Keep the Venetian nice for the countless bikes and the walkers and joggers who are from all over the area. I don’t mind making the non-resident toll lanes SunPass to keep them moving, but if anything increase the toll for non-residents, particularly on nights and weekends when it is packed with foot and bike traffic, and don’t lock residents in with this unfair change in the toll they are charged. And if there is a desire by the County to increase the resident C-pass rate, do something fair and reasonable — increase it by a reasonable amount each year. This is outrageous! Venetian island residents, let’s speak up! Let’s mount a challenge! Are the neighborhood associations already working on this? Please let me know.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/05/2574597/venetian-causeway-converting-to.html#storylink=cpy

  2. Try actually reading instead of just copy/pasting your rant on every article you find. It says pretty clearly that their not going to make residents pay more. It’s those of us that live on South Beach and use the Venetian every day that are getting screwed.

  3. to the mbresident above,

    I am a beach resident, just outside of the venetian and please do make sure you are aware that I also pay taxes. Taxes to pay a higher rate on your private street.

  4. the difference between the commuter annual pass rate and the resident rate is insulting.

  5. If you need to commute by car, use the Tuttle or MacArthur. This is a residential street with tons of walkers, joggers and bicyclists. The last thing needed is additional auto traffic that just idles at the drawbridges anyhow.

  6. Vinicio La Prensa

    I do not find the rates or the system for that matter, unfair but what I find absurd is the fact that they still have the guts to ask for money when the bridge is been under construction a lot (like 2 years) longer than anticipated and I have already punched my tires twice and spent probably 3 or 4 hundred dollars more a year just to constantly wash my car.
    If it costs me XX to rent an apartment with air conditioning you cannot charge the same if the A/C fails and it takes you 2 years to fix it.

  7. It is a total scam the fees charged are more then any road in the county. I’m a resident that rents a house on vevetian causeway. They do not recognize me as a resident because I do not own the house so they charge me a total fee as a commuter 90 dollars that insulting.
    I understand as a residence that we don’t want any more traffic then necessary specially if you are like me using the road for many activities.
    But there has to be a better fix, with the technology that we have now a days then what is going to be implemented. If you notice on all the highways there is sensors installed every few miles they are there near because in the near future we are going to be charged for every mile we use on the road the technology is already there. The same sort of Technology should be used on Venetian causeway to track people who are visiting commuting or just using it for short cut for 1 reason or another the last group are the people that need to be charged the most. And this technology can use for speeding too. With this road I think going outside the box to resolve the issues is needed because it is the most expensive road in all day County. When having a visitor it is a little insulting that they gotta pay a fee in my case literally a few 100 feet from the toll.

    By the way if you don’t already know there are no fines levied for violators and the cameras do not work. That mean if the arm is up just run it or you if you have something that resembles the transponder honk your horn and Flash it and they will open up the gate that’s what I tell all my visitors. Because it is a true scam!

  8. Pingback: Toll delay: SunPass will come to the Venetian Causeway by 2014 | Belle Isle Blog

  9. Pingback: Contractor picked for Venetian Causeway conversion to SunPass; expect change in Fall 2014 | Belle Isle Blog

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