CREATED Aug. 12, 2013
ESTERO, Fla.- An Estero woman faces fines after not paying at a Southwest Florida toll booth. But the woman said she had the money, just on a credit card, which isn't accepted.
Michelle Wyatt said last week, not carrying cash ended up costing her when she found herself in and area and at a toll she wasn't familiar with.
" I went over the Cape Coral bridge and when I got there with my credit card, they told me sorry we don't take cards." Wyatt said.
Wyatt said even though she offered to pay with plastic, they wouldn't let her. She was allowed to go through and said she'd get a fine in the mail. Wyatt said she doesn't think it is fair because the signs don't warn that credit and debit cards aren't accepted.
"There's nothing, no signs until you actually get up to it and says cash." Wyatt said.
The Toll Facilities Operations Manager, Susan Hopwood said in a statement:
"Our goal in the toll lanes is safely and efficiently process traffic while maintaining a high throughput. By adding an ATM or credit card process in the toll lanes, the average toll transaction time would quadruple from an average of 5 seconds to 20 seconds. I realize 15 seconds doesn't sound like a lot for one customer, but when you add that additional time for all customers it really does make a big difference." Hopwood said.
But Wyatt said she thinks visitors who aren't familiar with the area deserve a little more heads up.
" It is crazy, I wasn't even from the Cape Coral area, I don't even know the bridge. For people from out of town who come to Florida, it's not fair to them because they don't know what's going on." Wyatt said.
The Leeway Toll Operations Manager said she is unaware of any tolls in the state that accept credit or debit cards.