Epass or SunPass is one better

Polydweller

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 17, 2010
Most of our travel will be around Orlando. Are there advantages to one type of toll pass company over the other? I’ve read their online stuff but it’s still confusing trying to figure out why there are two companies if they both cover the same toll roads.

Also considering Epass extra because we are coming from Ontario and wondering if people have had difficulties in other states. That wouldn’t be considered if there is a disadvantage to Epass in Florida.
 

joelkfla

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2001
No, both work at all the same places in FL. The only real difference is the website or app, and how you can add cash funds to your balance. SunPass allows you to add cash at some check-cashing stores (for a fee), but I don't think you can do that for E-Pass. E-Pass allows you to add cash at a small number of toll booths in the local area. Both have auto-replenish options that automatically add a set amount from your credit card when your balance drops below a certain level ($10 for E-Pass.) And I think both also allow you to add from your credit card online or by phone call.

They both exist because E-Pass is by the local toll agency in Orlando and was the first. When the state came out with SunPass, the local agency chose to keep E-Pass going so that they could get their hands on locally collected tolls immediately rather than wait for the state to dole them out.

E-Pass is a bit cheaper to buy; I think the permanent sticker type is actually still free. The suction cup model is not free, but costs less than SunPass. And as you mentioned, E-Pass offers the option to buy a version that is compatible with the multi-state E-ZPass system for a few dollars more; SunPass is not at all compatible with E-ZPass.
 

JimMIA

There's more to life than mice...
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
As long as your travel is within the Orlando area, I think you'll be fine with either. But if you are heading north or south on the Florida turnpike, or down to South Florida, you will want SunPass. Many of the local expressways, express lanes on free roadways, etc are either SunPass or toll by plate. Toll by plate charges a bit higher toll and there is an administrative charge.

In Miami-Dade County, ALL toll roads are SunPass/bill by plate only -- NO toll booths.
 
  • joelkfla

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2001
    As long as your travel is within the Orlando area, I think you'll be fine with either. But if you are heading north or south on the Florida turnpike, or down to South Florida, you will want SunPass. Many of the local expressways, express lanes on free roadways, etc are either SunPass or toll by plate. Toll by plate charges a bit higher toll and there is an administrative charge.

    In Miami-Dade County, ALL toll roads are SunPass/bill by plate only -- NO toll booths.
    No, E-Pass (not to be confused with E-ZPass) is accepted anywhere SunPass is. SunPass and E-Pass are fully interoperable.
     
    Last edited:

    Polydweller

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    And as you mentioned, E-Pass offers the option to buy a version that is compatible with the multi-state E-ZPass system for a few dollars more; SunPass is not at all compatible with E-ZPass.
    Thanks folks. So, then as I understand it based on joelkfla’s post, Epass extra can then be used anywhere EZ-pass is available in the other 18 states, like NY thruway and N.C. Hov lanes. Is that right?
     

    joelkfla

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2001
    Thanks folks. So, then as I understand it based on joelkfla’s post, Epass extra can then be used anywhere EZ-pass is available in the other 18 states, like NY thruway and N.C. Hov lanes. Is that right?
    Yes, for tolls.

    I don't know about the HOV lanes (aka carpool lanes.) I think in South FL, they used to use SunPass to allow access to HOV lanes by electric vehicles, but it had to be set up on the account. If it's something like that, it probably wouldn't work.

    If you're talking about just extra-toll express lanes, it should work.
     
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    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    I don't know about the HOV lanes (aka carpool lanes.) I think in South FL, they used to use SunPass to allow access to HOV lanes by electric vehicles, but it had to be set up on the account. If it's something like that, it probably wouldn't work.
    We don't have HOV lanes in South Florida any longer -- only Express Lanes with dynamic pricing which can range from $0.50 to $11-$12. I believe the same is true on the SW coast -- I-75 from Ft. Myers down to Naples.
     
  • gatour

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2002
    We don't have HOV lanes in South Florida any longer -- only Express Lanes with dynamic pricing which can range from $0.50 to $11-$12. I believe the same is true on the SW coast -- I-75 from Ft. Myers down to Naples.
    And now in Jacksonville, on part of the Beltway. Technically the portion on the western Beltway. In a year or two there will be an express lane on the Eastern Beltway which will be most useful for tourist heading south on I95, get off at the I295 Eastern Beltway exit. Use the express lanes if so desired until you get to 9B and take it to join I95 again.

    Even now without the additional express lane on the Eastern Beltway I would take this route. Unless your car navigation system hasn't been updated in the the last year or so, it won't show 9B reaching all of the way to I95 south of Jacksonville but it does
     

    joelkfla

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2001
    We don't have HOV lanes in South Florida any longer -- only Express Lanes with dynamic pricing which can range from $0.50 to $11-$12. I believe the same is true on the SW coast -- I-75 from Ft. Myers down to Naples.
    That's why I used past tense, just to illustrate the point. The OP said HOV lanes, but I think he might have meant express lanes.

    BTW, this is getting off topic, but you probably know that express lanes are open now on part of the Beachline aka 528, with many more under construction throughout Orlando over the next few years. It is a violation to drive in an express lane without a transponder.
     

    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    Personally, there are only a couple of times I'll use the Express lanes.

    The most common one is if I am returning home from west Broward County and the extra cost is only $1 or less. The main reason I do that is that the entrance ramp from the I-75 express lanes to the Turnpike Southbound is vastly superior to the regular entrance ramp -- much quicker and much safer.

    The other time I use it is if I am in rush hour traffic and I have an Uber passenger who wants to take it and will compensate me in cash. If I'm by myself, or with family, it either costs too much or traffic is moving along as fast as I want to drive anyway.

    The big problem with express lanes is that they are barricaded off from the regular lanes. If there is an accident, or a breakdown, in the express lanes you are just stuck. We also have a couple of stretches where the express lane is only one lane, and those can be slow and a nightmare if there is any kind of blockage. I can't tell you how many times I've been cruising along in the regular I-95 lanes passing hundreds of cars stopped in the express lanes!
     
  • joelkfla

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2001
    Personally, there are only a couple of times I'll use the Express lanes.

    The most common one is if I am returning home from west Broward County and the extra cost is only $1 or less. The main reason I do that is that the entrance ramp from the I-75 express lanes to the Turnpike Southbound is vastly superior to the regular entrance ramp -- much quicker and much safer.

    The other time I use it is if I am in rush hour traffic and I have an Uber passenger who wants to take it and will compensate me in cash. If I'm by myself, or with family, it either costs too much or traffic is moving along as fast as I want to drive anyway.

    The big problem with express lanes is that they are barricaded off from the regular lanes. If there is an accident, or a breakdown, in the express lanes you are just stuck. We also have a couple of stretches where the express lane is only one lane, and those can be slow and a nightmare if there is any kind of blockage. I can't tell you how many times I've been cruising along in the regular I-95 lanes passing hundreds of cars stopped in the express lanes!
    A pig in a poke. I don't know about down there, but up here they have specifically said they will not post ETA's on the signs, just current toll rates.
     

    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    A pig in a poke. I don't know about down there, but up here they have specifically said they will not post ETA's on the signs, just current toll rates.
    Same here, no ETA -- just the toll. We have ETA info on some of the general information signs, but that's for regular traffic, not express.
     

    DISNEY FIX

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2007
    Well....which one have you guys gotten.?...I'm leaning epass....does the sticker work in a rental than back in wallet for next trip? Or get the suction cup?
    Any advice is welcome.
     

    LizzyDragon

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2017
    Well....which one have you guys gotten.?...I'm leaning epass....does the sticker work in a rental than back in wallet for next trip? Or get the suction cup?
    Any advice is welcome.
    The sticker is not transferable. If you want to move from car to car, get the suction cup. I've used Epass for years- no issues here.
     

    DISNEY FIX

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2007
    Thanks! I probably go w the suction cup one. Anyone tape the sticker to the window and then take it off when done?
     

    erionm

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2008
    Anyone tape the sticker to the window and then take it off when done?
    Some locals do.

    E-PASS charges less than SunPass for transponders:
    E-PASS sticker: free
    SunPass sticker: $4.99 (plus tax)

    E-PASS portable: $9.95 (plus tax)
    SunPass portable: $19.99 (plus tax)

    E-PASS Xtra (E-ZPass compatible): $18.50 (plus tax)


    Both E-PASS and SunPass require an initial account funding in addition to the cost of the transponder.
     

    gatour

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2002
    I have had a sunpass for years even at the the time of purchase there was no use for it here in Jacksonville. We were making frequent trips to Orlando and to Ft Lauderdale for cruises.

    I got the portable one because we switch out which car use to make the drive down. A few times I even let a friend borrow it. Once he got back, I looked at the tolls charged and he reimbursed me.
     

    DisEye

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2006
    I bought an E-Pass before our trip in March. Sadly I didn’t get to use it as much as I planned since everything shut down. I got the E-Pass Xtra because I live in Illinois and can use it here.
     





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