Escambia County

Pensacola Beach toll reduced

March 17, 2017

At the Thursday, March 16 commission meeting, the Escambia Board of County Commissioners approved a reduction in the Pensacola Beach General Public Annual Pass, reducing the annual fee from $50 to $20. The fee reduction will become effective Monday, May 1.

The board’s action does not impact the ability to choose to pay the cash toll of $1 for single trips or the other Pensacola Beach Annual Pass rates. The homestead pass will remain at $5 and the commercial pass, $70. No refunds will be given for any general public annual passes purchased prior to the new fee rate.

The new Pensacola Beach Annual Pass integrated with SunPass® provides a true 365-day pass to Pensacola Beach by providing unlimited passage through the Bob Sikes Toll Booth for one full year from the date of purchase. To get your Pensacola Beach Annual Pass:

Step one – Purchase a SunPass transponder online at www.SunPass.com or in person at retail outlets including Publix, CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens. For a full list, visit https://www.sunpass.com/sunPassRetailers.

Step two – Enroll in the Pensacola Beach Annual Pass program online or in person at the Bob Sikes Bridge Toll Plaza Customer Service Office located in the Santa Rosa Island Authority office, 1 Via De Luna Drive, Pensacola Beach.

For information pertaining to the new SunPass System and the integration with the Pensacola Beach Annual Pass Program, please visit www.myescambia.com/PensacolaBeachPass or contact the Bob Sikes Bridge Toll Plaza Customer Service Office at 850.916.5421 or bobsikestollplaza@myescambia.com.

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1 Comment

  • Reply CJ Lewis March 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    As I recall the discussion, the half-clever scheme described during the board meeting is to use a “bait & switch” approach to get more people to use the Pensacola Beach Sun Pass and then to raise the fee back up again. What I still do not understand is why people rich enough to own a home on Pensacola Beach only have to pay $5 for a Pensacola Beach Sun Pass? What makes them a better class of citizen than those who rent a place at the beach, work at the beach or live in the rest of Escambia County and want to go out to the beach? How about giving free Pensacola Beach Sun Passes to all city property owners who pay about $10 million in county property taxes to fund the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement patrols outside of city limits? What is fair about that other than a 1985 Florida Supreme Court decision said is legal for Escambia County to stick it to city property owners? I would like to see someone do a very detailed accounting of the bridge toll revenues. When I read last year’s PNJ story written by Will Isern, I got the sense that Escambia County was only using a small amount of the bridge toll revenues to pay down the bond debt, a bond debt that seems to have nothing to do with the bridge itself. The one variable that can most easily be controlled with respect beach traffic is the bridge toll. Rather than play a half-clever game with the Pensacola Beach Sun Pass, a better course of action would be to immediately stop collecting the toll and see what happens this summer. If the board is afraid to make a decision on its own, not wanting to offend the people who want the toll, put the question to voters on the November 2018 ballot.

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