If you’re planning a road trip in Puerto Rico, it’s essential to understand how to pay tolls. Tolls are charged on many major highways and bridges in Puerto Rico, and failure to pay can result in fines or even criminal charges. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about paying tolls in Puerto Rico, including the different payment methods and the benefits of using the AutoExpreso system.
The Puerto Rico Toll Road System
Puerto Rico’s extensive network of toll roads connects the island’s major cities and tourist destinations. The toll roads are operated by the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (PRHTA), responsible for maintaining and improving the island’s transportation infrastructure. The PRHTA charges tolls to help fund these projects, which include road repairs, bridge construction, and new highway projects.
Paying Tolls in Puerto Rico: Your Options
When paying tolls in Puerto Rico, you have several options. The most common payment methods include cash, credit cards, and the AutoExpreso electronic toll collection system. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options:
Cash: If you’re paying with cash, you must stop at a toll booth and pay the toll in person. The toll booth attendants will accept US and Puerto Rican currency, but remember that they may not have change for larger bills. Having small bills and coins on hand is always a good idea to avoid any issues.
Credit Cards: Many toll booths in Puerto Rico accept major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. If you’re using a credit card to pay tolls, insert your card into the payment machine and follow the instructions on the screen. Be sure to keep your receipt as proof of payment.
AutoExpreso: The AutoExpreso system is an electronic toll collection system that allows you to pay tolls automatically without stopping at a toll booth. With AutoExpreso, you’ll receive a transponder to mount on your windshield. As you pass through toll plazas, the system will automatically deduct the toll from your prepaid account. This system is an excellent option for frequent drivers, as it can save you time and money in the long run.
Benefits of Using AutoExpreso
There are several benefits to using the AutoExpreso system in Puerto Rico. Here are just a few:
Convenience: With AutoExpreso, you’ll never have to worry about stopping at toll booths or carrying cash. The system automatically deducts tolls from your account, saving you time and hassle.
Discounts: AutoExpreso users can receive discounts on tolls, which can add up over time. For example, you can receive up to a 50% discount on tolls when using the Luis A. Ferre Expressway during off-peak hours.
Peace of Mind: With AutoExpreso, you’ll know that you’re always covered when it comes to toll payments. You won’t have to worry about missing a toll booth or forgetting to bring cash.
How to Sign Up for AutoExpreso
The process is straightforward if you’re interested in signing up for AutoExpreso. You can visit one of the AutoExpreso customer service centers throughout the island or sign up online at the AutoExpreso website. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A valid driver’s license
- A vehicle registration
- A credit card or bank account for payment
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive your transponder in the mail and instructions on activating your account. You’ll also need to add funds to your account to cover tolls.
Using AutoExpreso: Tips and Tricks
If you’ve decided to use the AutoExpreso system, here are a few tips and tricks to make the most of your experience:
Keep your transponder properly mounted: Your transponder should be mounted on the inside of your windshield, behind the rearview mirror. This ensures that it will be read correctly by the toll plaza sensors.
Monitor your account balance: Monitor your account balance and add funds as needed. You don’t want to be caught without enough funds to cover a toll.
Plan your routes: AutoExpreso is accepted on most major toll roads in Puerto Rico, but not all. Be sure to check your route ahead of time to ensure that you’ll be able to use the system.
Paying Tolls with Rental Cars in Puerto Rico
If you rent a car in Puerto Rico, paying tolls can be a bit more complicated. Many rental car companies offer their toll payment programs, which can be expensive and have hidden fees. The best option is to use AutoExpreso, but you’ll need to ensure that the rental car company allows it. You should also check to see if there are any additional fees for using the system with a rental car.
Paying tolls in Puerto Rico may seem daunting initially, but with some preparation, it’s pretty easy. By understanding your payment options and the benefits of using the AutoExpreso system, you can save time and money on your next road trip. Just remember to keep small bills and coins on hand, monitor your account balance, and always follow the rules of the road.