Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
Toll roads across the country have convenient electronic toll-collection systems that allow drivers to skip the slow-moving, cash-payment lines and continue on their way. Typically, these systems require drivers to purchase and add funds to their accounts by using a credit or debit card. Florida's Turnpike Enterprise wants drivers enjoy this luxury even if they don't have a bank account or credit card -- about a quarter of Americans do their transactions in cash. The Miami Herald reports that Florida drivers will be able to add cash funds to their accounts at over 500 retail kiosks typically used for replenishing a variety of prepaid products, such as phone cards. This feature is to encourage drivers to stop using cash at toll stations, as FTE hopes to make stations completely cash-free. A new pilot program -- set to launch early 2011 -- will have some toll stations in Miami-Dade County only accept electronic toll payments. Drivers without electronic toll-collection accounts will have a photograph of their license plate taken as they pass through the toll station and will receive a bill in the mail.