Florida suspends payment to toll contractor until system is fixed

Payments to the contractor of Florida's electronic toll system was suspended Monday until the tolls system is fixed, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

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The Tampa Bay Times reported that FDOT secretary Mike Dew sent a letter to Conduent State & Local Solutions, Inc., which oversees the SunPass toll system in Florida. Dew said that while the vendor has made improvements in processing transactions, it is not enough to fulfill the original performance-based contract both parties signed in 2015.

"Because this is an absolutely critical service, the Department will not deem the assurances Conduent provided in your July 10 letter to be adequate," Dew wrote.

In that July 10 letter, David Amorielli, president of Conduent, did not set a timeline for fixing the problems that have plagued the tolling system since June 1, the Times reported.

SunPass is Florida’s prepaid toll program and is used on the Florida Turnpike, most toll bridges in the state and on other toll roads. A transponder is used to track customer tolls.

Florida transportation officials said Conduent is expected to process at least 8 million backlogged charges each day, but that goal has not been reached, the Times reported. In a July 11 news release, the FDOT said 28 million transactions had been processed. Since then, only 4 million backlogged transactions were processed, the Times said.

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