The electronic toll collection system (ETC) has been a fundamental means to collect toll charges at the toll plazas. Particularly in the United States, electronic toll programs has become an efficient and fast way to collect the toll charges from the vehicles using the toll roads or highways. The system not only eliminates the need for manned toll booths but also makes toll collection fast and effortless. The United States has ETC in several states. Instead of manually paying the toll at every toll booth, what ETC does is automatically charges the vehicle owner when the vehicle passes the toll reader. These systems work on the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, wherein RFID readers identify vehicles and collect the toll fee automatically. The vehicle owners has to open a prepaid account maintained by the agency responsible for toll collection and installs the RFID transponders inside their vehicle, commonly on the windshield. SunPass and E-Pass are two main toll collection systems within the U.S. state of Florida.
What is SunPass?
SunPass is the prepaid toll collection program created by the Florida Department of Transportation for the collection of tolls within the U.S. state of Florida. It is a networked toll collection system, similar to the E-ZPass system, which incorporates the latest technology to collect toll charges on the toll roads and most toll bridges in Florida. It works under the authority of Florida’s Turnpike electronic pay system, which mandates the use of SunPass devices on all vehicles that are using express lanes and toll roads within Florida. There are two types of SunPass devices or transponders issued for use on the vehicles – SunPass Portable and SunPass Mini. Both are pocket sized devices that can be attached to the inside of a vehicle’s windshield, which sends a signal to the sensors mounted on the readers in the toll plazas. As the vehicle passed the toll plaza, the prepaid account of the SunPass holder is automatically charged with the toll fees.
What is E-Pass?
E-Pass is yet another toll collection system that allows you to pay for toll charges effortlessly as you drive through the toll roads and express lanes in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. E-Pass is the ETC system in Florida that is issued and managed by the Central Florida Expressway Authority. Like SunPass, E-Pass works across all toll roads in Florida and its transponder is affixed to the inside of the windshield of the vehicle besides the rearview mirror. Toll charges are electronically deducted from the vehicle owner’s prepaid account every time the vehicle passes through the toll lane. E-Pass holders can use the SunPass lanes outside the Orlando Metropolitan area. In fact, it is accepted almost everywhere SunPass is accepted. Unlike the SunPass, the E-Pass sticker is absolutely free of cost. E-Pass manages two types of transponder devices – E-Pass Portable which works in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, and E-Pass Xtra which works on all toll roads and express lanes across 18 states.
Difference between SunPass and E-Pass
– Both SunPass and E-Pass are the two main toll collection systems within the U.S. state of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. They are the widely used prepaid toll collection programs in the United States but with different issuing authority. The SunPass works under the authority of Florida’s Turnpike electronic pay system whereas E-Pass is issued and managed by the Central Florida Expressway Authority. Like SunPass, E-Pass works across all toll roads in Florida.
– There are two types of SunPass devices or transponders issued for the vehicles – SunPass Portable and SunPass Mini. Both are pocket sized devices that can be attached to the inside of a vehicle’s windshield besides the rearview mirror. E-Pass also manages two types of transponder devices – E-Pass Uni which works in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, and E-Pass Xtra which works on all toll roads and express lanes across 18 states.
– The E-Pass toll sticker is available free of cost and it is mailed to vehicle owners prior by ordering it online. The toll sticker for SunPass, on the other hand, costs $4.99. There are no monthly charges for E-Pass holders and the account never expires. The E-Pass Uni replaced the E-Pass Portable within its suite of products and now costs $14.95. The SunPass Portable transponder devices, on the other hand, costs $19.99. In addition, E-Pass also runs several discount programs for the regular E-Pass holders, whereas SunPass does not offer any discounts.
SunPass vs. E-Pass: Comparison Chart
Both are two of the most popular prepaid toll collection systems used for toll collection across Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. However, SunPass is issued and operated by the Florida Department of Transportation, whereas E-Pass is managed and operated by the Central Florida Expressway Authority. Both the systems allow you to pay the toll charges automatically as you pass through the toll lane, using the RFID technology. The RFID readers installed at the toll lanes identify vehicles and collect the toll fee automatically. The fee is deducted from the user’s prepaid account which is maintained by the agency. E-Pass stickers are free of cost, whereas SunPass stickers cost $4.99. Besides, they both work on all toll roads and express lanes throughout Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.