Saturday, April 25, 2015

Got a SunPass Transponder? You need to read this!

Ah, the trusty and reliable SunPass transponder.  You use it to pay for your tolls, not only on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge but on all toll facilities in the Tampa Bay region including the all-electronic Selmon Crosstown Expressway as well as the Veterans Expressway (which has recently converted to all-electronic toll collection) and the Suncoast Parkway.  In fact, you can use that same SunPass on most toll roads and bridges throughout the State of Florida including, of course, Florida's Turnpike.

If you still have the battery operated SunPass transponder, this blog entry is for you!  According to a news release from Florida's Turnpike Enterprise - the Florida DOT entity that operates most of Florida's toll roads and bridges - your battery operated SunPass will no longer work after 31 December 2015.  What do you do?

You should have received either an email or a postcard from SunPass letting you know that you will need to swap out your battery operated transponder for a new non-battery operated transponder.  The email or postcard will have on it a replacement code - you will need it when you request your replacement SunPass transponder, so don't lose it!

If in the event you lose your email or postcard, or if you still have a SunPass battery operated transponder and you have not received the email or postcard from SunPass, you might want to give SunPass a call at 1 (855) TAG-SWAP (that's 1 (855) 824-7927) and explain your situation.

When you go to select your replacement transponder, you will have two choices:

1.  The SunPass slim transponder:  This transponder attaches to the inside of your windshield by way of built in suction cups similar to the SunPass hard case transponder you may have.  This transponder is portable meaning you can move it from car to car; this is helpful if you rent a car in Florida so that you can charge your tolls to your SunPass account instead of paying extra to your car rental agency for tolls incurred.  I highly recommend the SunPass slim portable transponder.

2.  The SunPass mini transponder:  This transponder is the stick on type where you stick it on the inside of your windshield.  The only major drawback of the SunPass mini is that it is not portable and once you take the transponder off your windshield your SunPass will no longer work.

Simply pick the SunPass transponder that will suit your needs.  Complete the information requested at the SunPass Tag Swap site and you should have your replacement transponder in no time!

Before you go onto the SunPass Tag Swap site be sure to log in to your SunPass account over at the regular SunPass website and check to see that SunPass has your current address.  If you need to update your address now's a great time to do so.

Again, if you have a battery operated SunPass transponder you will need to swap it out soon for a non-battery operated SunPass transponder!  The battery operated SunPass transponders will no longer work after 31 December 2015! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Exit Numbering Changes on Interstate 275 in Tampa

By now you are getting used to the new southbound lanes on Interstate 275 in Tampa from downtown Tampa to Exit 39 (FL 60 to Tampa International Airport as well as Clearwater).  The good news is that all the exits are now from the right lane as opposed to the temporary left lane exits.

With the new southbound lanes of Interstate 275 open come a couple of exit numbering changes for Dale Mabry Highway (US 92) and Himes Avenue, according to Tampa Bay Interstates, the Florida DOT's Tampa Bay Region interstate construction page.  Here's what the exits used to be before the reconstruction project began:

Northbound Interstate 275:

Exit 41A - Dale Mabry Highway southbound
Exit 41B - Dale Mabry Highway northbound

Southbound Interstate 275:

Exit 41C - Himes Avenue
Exit 41B - Dale Mabry Highway northbound
Exit 41A - Dale Mabry Highway southbound

Now with the circular ramps from Interstate 275 to Dale Mabry Highway gone, this changes the makeup of the Dale Mabry/Himes interchange complex on Interstate 275.  That said, here's the exits in the new format:

Northbound Interstate 275:

Exit 41A - Dale Mabry Highway

Southbound Interstate 275:

Exit 41B - Himes Avenue
Exit 41A - Dale Mabry Highway

So, in order to exit Interstate 275 at Dale Mabry Highway, you will use the ramp at Exit 41A to proceed in either direction on Dale Mabry Highway.  Himes Avenue - which used to be Exit 41C but is now Exit 41B - is a northbound entrance and southbound exit ramp.

Dale Mabry Highway is also known as US 92, the cross Florida highway from St. Petersburg to Daytona Beach that parallels and predates Interstate 4.  While Dale Mabry Highway is a north-south road, US 92 is an east-west highway explained thus:

Dale Mabry Highway northbound - US 92 eastbound
Dale Mabry Highway southbound - US 92 westbound
We'll be also updating the Tampa pages with new pictures as soon as new signage is installed and lane configurations are in their permanent configurations.  Stay tuned!