Referendum to vote eliminate tolls in Miami for being a fraud not consulted with voters.

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The toll roads of Miami are huge frauds that must be eliminated!

It's time to mount a serious campaign to end tolls in Miami-Dade County. Every time the government wants to collect money from people, we should be allowed to vote on it. Florida's Turnpike Enterprise and the Miami-Dade Highway Authority (MDX) are highway robbers who take advantage of predominantly poor motorists who struggle to have a roof over their heads, put food on the table and take care of their families.

I remember the days when there was only one toll on State Highway 112 when you were leaving Miami International Airport to get to Miami Beach. Now there are tolls on virtually all of the county's major highways. Worse yet, Florida's Turnpike and MDX eliminated all toll stations and charged more money if drivers did not get a SunPass. Cameras take pictures of license plates every time you travel these toll roads, and months later you receive a bill for hundreds of dollars. It's ridiculous.

MDX is a joke. It was created in 1994 by the Florida Legislature and the county commission on the premise that Miami-Dade would do a better job operating local roads, such as Airport Expressway and Gratigny Parkway.

The authority is controlled by a council of nine members, eight of whom are local businessmen and civic leaders appointed by the governor and the county commission. In other words, politicians created an entity that is responsible only to them, not Miami-Dade residents.

According to the MDX toll rate schedule, it would cost a traveler who crosses the five highways from start to finish $ 85.75 during a five-day work week with a SunPass. Without a Sunpass, the cost jumps to $ 171.50. And that does not include all charges for services that MDX comes in, including a fee just to send you an invoice. Annually, it would cost a motorist $ 8,232 to use all express lanes under the jurisdiction of MDX. Imagine how much more money it costs for drivers who have to turn on trips on Florida's Turnpike.

The most recent data from the US Census. UU They show that the average income per household in Miami-Dade is $ 44,224. It is less than half that amount for African-American households. Think of the single mothers who work in two jobs who have to drive these highways to drop off their children, or the construction worker who goes home from the work site in downtown Miami to Little Havana. Then there are people living in South Miami-Dade who have to travel two to three hours per peak hour in each direction.

They pay to sit in a traffic jam that has been amplified by the uninterrupted reconstruction of the roads and exchanges on the Dolphin Expressway. This is not Dubai, where everyone is an oil sheikh who can treat tolls as a pocket change. But if anyone tried to set tolls on the William Lehman Causeway of Aventura or Julia Tuttle and MacArthur Causeways in Miami Beach, see how fast the rich people of those cities would close it.

Meanwhile, MDX is full of cash. It has spent more than $ 3.3 billion on highway projects since its inception and is about to complete a five-year capital improvement program to replace and repair the existing program and build new toll roads that cost more than $ 1.4 thousand millions. However, there are serious concerns about the way in which MDX manages its monetary chains. Only last month, the authority lost an important lawsuit. A judge ruled that he has to pay a former contractor, Electronic Transactions Consultants Corp., $ 53.3 million for the damages incurred by the company and the interest.

It's time to launch a petition and let people decide if we want to abolish tolls.