A quick confession. There were times when I haven’t been able to afford taking tolls in Orlando. Take a stretch of the 417 I used to live next to near Lake Jesup.
Each trip either direction cost $2.50.
Each day that’s $5
Each week that’s $25
Each month that’s $100
Each year that’s $1,200 .. On just one toll!
Now if you own an SunPass or Epass, it’s a little less expensive, but that’s still a fortune. There are similar toll situations throughout Orlando.
Imagine if your an underpaid worker in Orlando, who’s already suffering from the lack of affordable housing in the area. This is just insult to injury at this point.
And we’ve got employers in this community that are still proud to offer $10 an hour. How can that caliber of work mean anything for an employee when the first two hours of their work week are going towards the cost of their tolls alone?
We’re not taking these things into consideration when we think about those who are already overpaying between 20 and 30 percent for their rent. And then you have the families who have already lost the housing fight and are living in hotels.
It’s tragic how these entities behind necessities such as infrastructure, housing, and employment seem to chip away at a family’s survival either by overcharging them with tolls or application fees, or underpaying them at work. It’s a big game of “keep away” to them.
And they’ll all just shrug. “Life is hard. Right?”.
But workers are doing the math here. No wonder many of them aren’t biting at the low paying jobs like our employers want them too.
They’re already in the hole before they’ve ever clocked in.