Friday, June 25, 2010
Turnpike launches program for SunPass® customers to add cash and check balance at hundreds of retail locations
FORT LAUDERDALE — Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) has launched an innovative program that allows SunPass customers to add funds to their accounts using cash, checks, debit cards or credit cards at hundreds of retail locations throughout Florida, transportation officials announced today. Customers can also check their SunPass account balance.
SunPass is Florida’s electronic prepaid toll program, and is accepted on nearly all toll roads and bridges in the Sunshine State.
“It’s all about offering options to our customers,” said FTE Deputy Executive Director Jennifer Olson. “As we implement all-electronic tolling and remove the tollbooths on the Turnpike Extension early next year, we want to make it easier for cash customers to transition to SunPass. Now, they can get all the benefits of having a SunPass transponder, while still paying their tolls with cash at hundreds of convenient locations,” she added.
The program uses the BlackStone “Touch-n-Buy” kiosk — a red, touch-screen terminal that can be found at Navarro Discount Pharmacies, convenience stores, ethnic markets, check cashing stores, gas stations and more.
“Touch-n-Buy already has a large customer base,” said Orlando Torres, FTE deputy director of toll operations for SunPass. “Florida residents have been using the technology since 1999, so it was a matter of adding SunPass to something the customer is familiar with.”
The Touch-n-Buy terminals are very easy to operate and provide step-by-step instructions in English and Spanish. Customers just touch the SunPass logo, type in the SunPass transponder number, view the account balance, and enter the amount they wish to add to the account. The kiosk prints out an invoice/receipt that customers take to the cashier, along with the payment. There is a $1.50 service fee per transaction, similar to an ATM fee.
To date, there are 572 Touch-n-Buy retail locations statewide. Many new locations will be added in the near future, for added convenience. Customers can go to the SunPass website at www.SunPass.com or www.Touch-n-Buy.com/sunpass to find a nearby retailer. It is as simple as entering a Zip Code and choosing a preferred nearby location. Customers can click on a location to view a map.
While at this time customers can only check SunPass account balances and add funds, FTE is looking to add more services in the future, including the capability to pay TOLL-BY-PLATE invoices and replenish TOLL-BY-PLATE prepaid accounts.
TOLL-BY-PLATE is an electronic toll collection method, for customers without SunPass, which takes a photo of a vehicle’s license plate as it travels under a tolling gantry and sends a bill for the toll to the vehicle’s registered owner. TOLL-BY-PLATE is not yet available on Florida’s Turnpike but recently became available on the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s (MDX) Gratigny Parkway/S.R. 924.
Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise is the first toll agency in the U.S. to provide its customers a program to replenish their transponders with cash at retail locations. FTE is a leader in transportation and continually strives to provide its customers value in the form of safety, service and convenience.
Established in 1995, Blackstone has successfully managed to bring a complete end-to-end prepaid program to all retailers regardless of their size. Our comprehensive proprietary platform provides complete merchant solutions from credit/debit processing, prepaid products and bill payment solutions through a multitude of interactive touch screen systems. Our unique Point-of-Sale systems have dual prepaid capabilities, which no other company can offer. Blackstone consistently provides merchants with competitive prepaid and processing rates to meet all of their sales and processing needs. For more information about Blackstone and all their products and services, please visit our website www.blackstoneonline.com or contact us at 1-800-639-9590.