Highway Hypocrite and Turnpike Turncoat ► UpLyfting Thoughts #3

Circle this date on your calendars, folks, because this is going to be a mea culpa for the ages.

Anyone who has ever driven just a few miles with me has heard my rant about Toll Roads. Yet, here’s my newly purchased SunPass just before I installed it on the front windshield of The Grey Ghost.

To make a long story short: I never use Toll Roads if I can help it. However, I can no longer help it because Lyft clients not only expect me to use the Toll Roads, but they are charged for them and I’m compensated.

I want to be clear: I’m not against Toll Roads merely because I’m a cheap bastard. Even if money were no object, I would still avoid Toll Roads because I am philosophically against them. Taxes are supposed to pay for the roads. That’s our socialistic system. Why should some roads charge extra? What kind of capitalism is that? Crony?

But, I digress.

Even crazier are these Express Lanes that they’re building on all south Florida’s highways. Get this: It’s a parallel highway to the main highway, separated by either knock-down poles or not-knock-down concrete barriers. These lanes costs extra to go the exact same place as the rest of the traffic.

I just see it as just another way to separate the HAVES from the HAVE NOTS. The cost for using the Express Lanes changes all the doo dah day. On I-95 during rush hour I’ve seen it as high as $7.50. I’ve read it can go to $10.50. That fee is no guarantee that your Express Lanes will be expressive. I’ve seen those lanes blocked by accidents as I go sailing past with the rest of the Great Unwashed Cars. Worse yet, there are no toll booths or Pay By Plate, as on some of the other Toll Roads around here. You’ll get a heafty ticket for using the Express Lanes without a SunPass transponder.

With a SunPass transponder, it’s just that much easier for the NSA to track people. But, I digress.

Here’s the punchline to the story: This morning I Lyfted a couple from my neighbourhood in Sunrise to the the Miami Airport. It was a white knuckle drive. Not only was it during a torrential rainstorm at 5 in the morning, but it’s been raining that way here for several days. There were flooded roads and accidents everywhere. Meanwhile, the fellow in the car asked me specifically not to use the Express Lanes because they not only make him nervous, but with his bladder condition he wanted to be able to jump off the highway quickly if the need arose.

So, I had to write an email to Lyft to make sure the tolls weren’t charged. Essentially, Lyft told me that the passenger will have to dispute the toll charge if one is applied. That’s what I was hoping to avoid because it’s not fair to the customer to have to challenge the charge.

But . . . I’m just a small cog in a big machine. Now with a SunPass.


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Headly Westerfield
Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.