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Awards - All

2012

Illinois Tollway

The Balmoral Avenue Interchange is an all-electronic ramp that runs to the southbound Tri-State Tollway from Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont, Illinois. This $25 million project has provided thousands of drivers with improved access to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont Theater, O’Hare International Airport and numerous local businesses in the area. The interchange was developed under a locally financed agreement, the first of its kind as the Rosemont community agreed to finance and construct the project. The agreement required that Rosemont set goals for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation when hiring contractors to work on the project. Today, the developing entertainment district and surrounding areas enjoy less congestion and improved mobility. The project is a success story for the ongoing efforts to encourage state and local agency collaboration.

2011

CCR Group

The CCR Group is one of the largest companies in the area of infrastructure concessions in Latin America. It administers 2,437 kilometers of the Nation’s highways under concession in the States of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Paraná, and managed by the CCR Ponte, CCR NovaDutra, CCR ViaLagos, CCR RodoNorte, CCR AutoBAn, CCR ViaOeste, CCR RodoAnel, CCR SPVias, and Renovias concessionaires and employs approximately 7,000 people. Because of its relevance in the industry and its growth strategy (CCR acquires, on average one new business per year). The CCR Group perceived the need to enable all of its leadership levels and sought out Brazil’s most respected institutions, in 2010, to develop its Leadership Development Program (LDP). The result of that process was to choose the Dom Cabral Foundation (DCF), which created, together with the company’s People Management staff, a customized program that was prepared especially for the CCR Group. DCF was created in 1976 as a center for developing executives, business people, and companies, and it is one of the most renowned and respected organizations in Brazil in this segment. The Leadership Development Program (LDP) began in September 2010 and completed its first cycle in February 2011. During that time, approximately 200 executives from a broad range of leadership phases participated in the first three training modules, which dealt with the subjects of Corporate Governance, People Management, and Financial Management. Also included in this phase are bi-monthly workshops with the CCR Group’s top management. The other LPD cycles are already under way, and the conclusion of the entire process is expected for early 2012.

2010

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA)

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Airports Authority) operates Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Pursuant to agreements with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), it has additionally assumed responsibility for operating and maintaining the Dulles Toll Road, an eight lane limited access highway approximately 13.4 miles in length that extends from I-495 in Fairfax County, Virginia, to Route 28 in Loudoun County, Virginia. The Dulles Toll Road operates as a major commuter route for the Washington metropolitan region, provides direct access to and from Tysons Corner (Virginia's largest office market and one of the leading business centers in the nation), and serves Dulles International Airport. This project highlights administrative and financial policies that were developed by the Airports Authority as part of its Dulles Corridor Enterprise initiative, a program designed to ensure completion of the Dulles Metrorail Project and other transportation improvements within the Dulles Corridor by leveraging Dulles Toll Road revenues and other federal, state and local resources. The Dulles Metrorail Project is a 23.1-mile extension of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metrorail system from Fairfax County, Virginia, to Dulles International Airport, and beyond the airport to Route 772 in eastern Loudoun County, Virginia.  The success of the Dulles Corridor Enterprise initiative illustrates the important leadership role that toll agencies can play in addressing regional mobility needs and promoting multi-modal transportation solutions. The Airports Authority had to meet several challenges, including negotiating a permit and operating agreement with VDOT that establishes the rights and obligations of the Airports Authority with regard to the operation and maintenance of the Dulles Toll Road over a 50-year period.  The Airports Authority developed and executed short-term and long-term strategies for managing Dulles Toll Road operations, implemented its regulatory process for soliciting public comment on the toll increases required to support the plan of finance for the Dulles Metrorail Project, and successfully accessed the debt capital markets by creating a new revenue bond credit secured solely by Dulles Toll Road revenues.  The inaugural bond sale was awarded the Bond Buyer's 2009 Deal of the Year, and the Airports Authority has also been recognized for its Dulles Corridor initiative by the Government Finance Officers Association.

2009

Attica Tollway Operations Authority

Considering that the customers of Tollways have higher service level demands compared to the users of non-tolled motorways, a “Monitoring the success” action has been adopted by Attica Tollway. This “Monitoring the success” action is based on the development of a system for monitoring and analysing the trends of the outcome of an urban Tollway and it acts as a mechanism protecting the expected “value” that arises from the payment of  toll fee.  The major components of this action are the "Key Performance Indicators" (KPIs), which are based, to a great extent, on a multifunctional survey, in reference mainly to safety and customer service.

2008

Orange County Transportation Authority

The 91 Express Lanes Toll Policy, approved by the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors, is designed to administer congestion management toll pricing. One of the challenges faced when OCTA bought the 91 Express Lanes was how to design and implement a congestion management toll policy administered by a board of publicly elected officials. OCTA implemented a Toll Policy that adjusted toll rates based on the number vehicles on the 91 Express Lanes and based on its stated goal to maintain a “free flow” commute at all times. As a result, toll adjustments do not need a Board vote each time a toll has to be adjusted. To date, OCTA has adjusted eighteen peak period hours based upon traffic volumes.

2007

N3 Toll Concession (Pty) Ltd.

The objective of the Commodity Hedging Strategy is to protect the Company (“N3TC”) against wild fluctuations whilst ensuring that it benefits from any downward movement in the dollar’s price of oil or upward movement in the Rand exchange rate. With the assistance of N3TC’s technical personnel, the projected consumption of bitumen and diesel was determined for each six monthly period to 31 December 2009. A competitive tender process was entered into with the financial institutions, the result of which was that derivative contracts were taken out for each six month period based on the projected consumption and a price determined by reference to the aggregate of the forward curve of the Rand exchange rate and the relevant commodity benchmark derived from the dollar oil price.

2006

North Texas Tollway Authority

In September 2003, the Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport, a public governmental agency of the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, contracted with the NTTA through an interlocal agreement (ILA) to utilize the NTTA's electronic toll collection system (the RITE system) and related clearinghouse functions to support DFW parking revenue collection.  It extended the ILA in 2005 to install AVI technology and was soon followed by the City of Dallas, who in March 2005 contracted with the NTTA to use the NTTA's AVI technology for the Dallas Love Field Airport in a similar manner.  The nature of the agreements between the NTTA and the two airports is an exemplary model of successful governmental relations and a text-book case study in the ability of focused, determined public organizations working together for the benefit of their mutual constituents/customers.

2005

Illinois State Toll Highway Authority

The efforts of the Illinois Tollway to market I-PASS and generate non-toll revenue have resulted in substantial growth in I-PASS sales and usage since the new leadership team was put in place in early 2003. Some of the most fruitful tactics of the Tollway have included unique partnerships with retailers, broadcasters, transit service providers and oases over the road site developers. In total these partnerships will generate over $4.0 million dollars in advertising and marketing dollars for the Illinois Tollway, which in the previous 10 years had only budgeted roughly over $500,000 total.  Not only does this save valuable resources, it also helps counter the negative public feedback that often results when toll money is spent to promote Tollway’s and electronic toll collection.

2004

The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority

The new Violation Enforcement System which integrates the use of technology with an expert-lead management team helps the Illinois Toll Highway Authority to respond quickly and effectively to offenders. The VES made it possible for the Toll Authority to reduce toll evasion by a full percentage point, recoup lost revenues, and renew public trust and confidence in the Illinois Toll industry.

2003

North Texas Tollway Authority

By using tax-exempt commercial paper, the North Texas Tollway Authority was able to lower interest rates in the early years of construction on projects such as the President George Bush Turnpike and increase debt capacity.  Commercial paper eliminates the need for capitalized interest and eliminates the potential for negative “costs of carry” in the construction fund.  In comparison to the traditional fixed-rate bond program the commercial paper program was projected to save approximately $43 million on $500 million in financing new projects.

2002

New Jersey Turnpike Authority

The objective of this project was not only to have all contractor personnel able to be fully trained regarding roadway construction safety and lane closing installation, but also to ensure employees hired after the initial demonstration would have equal opportunity for training without draining the resources of the Maintenance Department, Operations Department or State Police Construction Unit.  Also, the availability of this video ensures a standard of training for all contractors over the term of a construction project.  The video has not only saved training resources from the aforementioned departments, but it has also reduced downtime spent training the contractors and ultimately decreased the number of safety violations.

2012

Toll Operation Division of TxDOT

The TxTag Fleet Program provides customers that have large vehicle fleets with efficient and cost-effective solutions, while ensuring toll revenues are collected. The program focused on the implementation of back-office systems to address the requirements for rental agency fleets. The program looked at the collection of payments for outstanding Pay By Mail account balances, and obtained approval of a fee negotiation policy to enable TxDOT to offer more reasonable fee settlement amounts. TxDOT designed the TxTag Fleet Program as a license plate-based, pre-paid account where tolls post at the Pay By Mail rate to account for image-based transaction processing costs. The program also provides customers with the option to forego the purchase of transponders, significantly reducing the overhead costs associated with managing them. This program, combined with the continued pursuit of unpaid violations, resulted in approximately $3.56M in toll and fee revenue collection.

2011

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission developed three web-based programs to help improve communications with customers and internal staff. Alone, each was an effective package. However, integrated and used together, they make a powerful Communications Management Suite (CMS) that improves customer service, increases efficiencies and provides a potential new revenue source for the Commission. The first phase of the CMS was “TRIP” (Turnpike Roadway Information Program) a first generation automated travel advisory system. The PTC has expanded TRIP – added a customer contact and tech dispatch system, made use of mobile devices, social networking and cloud computing to create this suite of programs. Each of the new programs rests on the same web-based technology platform which was built in an expandable and modular fashion. Each has a mobile app or telephony component that leverages cloud technologies. Each program has components that improve work/cost efficiencies. Two of the programs have the potential for revenue generation. The three integrated programs in the CMS are:

(1) Customer Assistance Center Ticketing Utility System (CACTUS). CACTUS is a customized ticketing system that interfaces customer inquiries and trouble reports with PTC depts and functions. What makes CACTUS different from other ticketing systems is that it is integrated with other initiatives and serves as an overall controller.

(2) TRIP II – The Next Generation. TRIP was designed to improve customer service by disseminating travel conditions through a web map/web site, via email/text alerts, on VMS signs, and through an interactive voice response (IVR) dial-in phone line.

(3) Reports from the Road Crews (REPORTS). REPORTS is a web and telephony-based tool for PTC maintenance staff to report weather/roadway conditions while on the road. A Blackberry Application allows crews to enter conditions and view other reported conditions. It allows managers to view/approve reports from virtually anywhere. Reported conditions are automatically stored in the system and can be viewed by staff or crews for proactive response. Conditions are disseminated to the public via the TRIP II system. These three programs, made possible by leveraging new technologies, work in an integrated fashion to improve timeliness and accuracy of roadway reports to the public, to manage tech dispatch and repair tracking and provide a potential for producing revenue.

2010

North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)

The challenges facing the United States economy have created enormous pressure and hardship for all business. The tolling industry has also been swept up in this challenge. Rising fuel prices, loss of investment capital, unavailable highway dollars, and increasing unemployment have created an often chaotic and difficult operating environment. The NTTA, has a responsibility to deliver to service to their customers and stakeholders regardless of the economic environment. The NTTA is committed to providing the “highest level of service for the least amount of cost that is valuable for its customers and responsible for the NTTA. Having committed to an All Electronic Tolling (ETC) strategy, the NTTA customer experience has become a much larger challenge. The elimination of toll booths, the implementation of ZipCash payment systems and new facilities have put increased volume and pressure on all customer touch points. These include call center services, storefront TollTag stores, IVR, Web site and roadway customer service. A 20% increase in customer contact volume in uncharted electronic tolling waters risked stretching the limits of the customer service infrastructure. The NTTA needed to respond to these challenges yet be responsible in an economic environment where survival was paramount and not growth and innovation. Seeking a solution to the pressure of providing value added services with less resources and capital, NTTA turned to an unlikely partner: their customers. NTTA put their “customers to work” providing advice, coaching employees, auditing customer experience and training NTTA personnel. And not just a “couple” of customers helping out “every once and a while”, thousands of NTTA customers provide valuable coaching, advice and insight daily throughout the agency. Utilizing a technology platform called CDM (Customer Driven Management), NTTA can access customer’s 24x7 for input. What is significant is this platform solution crosses all levels of the organization and most importantly is provided individually. Customers are working in tandem with NTTA managers and front-line supervisors. This means that in some instances hundreds of customers are assisting one individual (and their manager) in addressing a specific performance area by providing coaching, advice, encouragement and training. This customer engagement is unparalleled in the tolling industry and the private sector as well. The impact is seen in reduced expenses, customer loyalty, streamlined process, changed behavior and perhaps most importantly a dramatically improved customer experience. Imagine - Customers and a public agency working together for the people of North Texas. Partnering with their customers is not a new concept for the NTTA. NTTA for the past three years has engaged their customers in a unique “Mystery Driver” program. Unlike most mystery shopper programs engaged around the world NTTA uses their actual customers to provide feedback and direction for the agency. In addition to synchronizing with customers, the NTTA also leverages CDM to facilitate virtual focus groups. The NTTA was considering two sign designs to communicate a rate change based on vehicle axles. Instead of using a traditional focus group, the NTTA was able to use this technology to get feedback regarding the two signs. These customers viewed the designs online and provided enough detailed feedback and advice that the NTTA was able to produce a third and final design that is in place today. A similar process was utilized that was able to produce a third and final design that is in place today. This process ensured clear invoice changes were made that customers would understand. These two instances alone save tens of thousands of dollars in traditional focus group costs as well as reducing contact volumes and their associated costs. NTTA increased their level of service at a minimal cost. This solution transformed NTTA’s perspective on customer service.

2009

Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

As with many accomplishments in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) made the impossible possible, and set a few world records along the way.  Salik, meaning open or clear in Arabic, is Dubai’s new all electronic, open road tolling (ORT) system.  It is a free flow tolling system operating at highway speeds with no plazas, gates, or other impediments to traffic flow. It is maintained completely above the road from walkways inside the cladded gantries, requiring no road closures for regular maintenance.  Salik also features the world’s widest free flow tolling zone -- at 40.3 meters (132 feet), spanning 7 ORT lanes in a single direction.  Not only was the Salik turnkey toll system deployed in less than a year from study through revenue collection, it deployed technologies not previously attempted in toll collection.  These world-record technological advancements clearly represent excellence and extraordinary achievement within the world's transportation industry.

2008

Washington State Department of Transportation – Toll Operations

Good to Go! Marketing Program and Customer Service Center Opening In April 2006, Washington state launched its new Good To Go! electronic toll collection program with a two-year public outreach and marketing campaign. The success of the new $849 million Tacoma Narrows Bridge hinged on getting at least 50% of opening-day morning commuters to use electronic tolling in order to keep traffic flowing. National tolling experts doubted this ambitious goal could be achieved. On opening morning, 73% of the peak commute drivers used the electronic toll lanes, breaking all records for a new toll facility.

2007

Texas Department of Transportation

In 2006, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) opened the fi rst toll roads in the Austin area and introduced a new state-of-the-art electronic toll tag, named TxTag. User-paid roadways were completely new to the area, and potential customers were generally not aware of modern toll methods and their convenience. Three program decisions led to unprecedented results in the tolling industry: 1) investing in a comprehensive marketing and outreach campaign to educate the public about the new toll roads and TxTag, 2) using pricing and other incentives to encourage people to test drive the new roads and sign on early with the TxTag program, and 3) giving TxTags away free of charge for more than a year. Within a month after tolls were first charged, tag penetration averaged 75 percent daily – 81 percent during peak periods – and there were more than 200,000 funded TxTags installed on vehicles. TxDOT rapidly achieved its goal of converting drivers accustomed to complaining about traffic into customers willing to pay to drive on modern new toll roads.

2006

E-470 Public Highway Authority

With a goal of increasing productivity and improving customer services through employee involvement, the E-470’s mission was to evoke a culture change that would enhance toll operations by utilizing business analytics and employee commitment. Applying process analysis and quality measurements such as Six Sigma and Lean Speed to isolate operational inefficiencies, the objective was to focus on these identified areas and maximize productivity by employing creative measurement techniques in a dynamic, competitive team environment that rewards for success.

2005

Delaware Department of Transportation

In 2003, Delaware Department of Transportation took over the management of Delaware’s E-ZPass program.  Delaware’s decision to take on the administration of its own E-ZPass program and to build an in-state Customer Service Center that would provide its customers real people to talk to, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, sets a new benchmark in customer service. In addition to providing the live 24/7 services, the Department also developed a highly functional Internet site where most customer service functions can be accomplished, as well as four walk-in centers and a mobile service center vehicle to ensure maximum accessibility. DelDOT has seen an amazing 55% increase in the E-ZPass customer base and better than 60% ETC penetration during rush hour!

2004

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise

The FTE reached its goal of increasing SunPass transponder sales by implementing an aggressive marketing campaign. The Enterprise’s project focused on making the SunPass more accessible to the public by expanding sales to two retail stores. Within a short period of time, the Turnpike Enterprise’s initial sales goals had been exceeded and consequently SunPass participation had increased significantly.

2003

Sanoe na Area

In 2001 a rest stop was established for heavy vehicles with capacity for 21 semis and 15 trucks.  Facilities include restrooms, showers, a laundry facility and security service free of charge.  A calendar of health campaigns were then instituted to educate truck drivers about cholesterol, how to prevent back pain, diabetes, etc.  Participants also underwent pre-consultations with a nurse and were given tests including blood pressure, cholesterol and glycemia.  The area also offered vaccines ranging from Hepatitis B vaccine to flu vaccines.  Over the course of two years, the center has provided care for 3, 357 people.

2002

Maine Turnpike Authority

Like many toll facilities, the Maine Turnpike Authority has operated throughout its history in a political environment in which opinions regarding the very concept of a user fee highway sway from appreciative to disdainful, depending on the particular project or issue at hand. This volatility and the fact that toll facilities are enormously easy political targets has made it difficult for agencies to pursue important long-term initiatives and improvements without fearing that the tide may soon turn, causing projects to be disrupted and resources to be lost. The Maine Turnpike Widening project had been subjected to nearly 30 years of punishing political tidal shifts, resulting in two statewide referendums and several costly starts and stops. Having finally received statewide voter approval to move forward the Turnpike Authority was determined to advance the project in a way that would not only relieve public anxieties about the project at hand, but would strengthen public confidence and trust in the Authority's ability to undertake future projects and initiatives.

2012

Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

In early 2010, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) established the Green Initiative, an agency-driven program designed to infuse sustainability into transportation projects. The Green Initiative is a multi-faceted endeavor that seeks to enhance the sustainability of Mobility Authority projects and to spread a culture of environmental stewardship throughout the region and beyond. Thus far, the Mobility Authority has launched three highly successful Green Initiative Programs. One example is the Green Credits program, which is designed to promote green practices by awarding certification to transportation projects that incorporate sustainable practices. The Green Credits program is currently being used for the development of Phase II of the Manor Expressway, a 6.2 mile toll project located in Austin, Texas. The Mobility Authority is requiring the design-build developer to complete certain mandatory, sustainable initiatives and has provided a large grouping of optional sustainable i itiatives for potential use to meet a minimum number of required green credits.

2011

Miami-Dade Expressway Authority

More than a project, program policy or action, MDX embarked on a campaign to move our community forward. We began a movement, a crusade, a full encompassing public outreach program to educate our customers, gain full support and establish a presence within our community as a leader in technology and as a trusted agency. The MDX ORT Outreach Campaign was intended to inform the community about the benefits of Open Road Tolling.

We first identified the key talking points on how ORT would improve the quality of life of our drivers – Safer, Faster, Cleaner and Provide for the Future. Next, the reach of this campaign needed to extend far beyond a corridor. The customary method has always been to focus efforts on public meetings within a set amount of yards from the roadway. However, in Miami-Dade one roadway can affect millions of drivers. The points of the campaign encompassed all aspects of a marketing and public relations campaign. It began with the briefing of elected official and community organizations. These briefings gave us an opportunity to explain who MDX is, what projects had already been delivered and what toll funds were being used for. However, this campaign took a turn to reach the masses. The point was to speak to our drivers in every way possible. If in their car, drivers would see traditional billboards, mobile billboards, toll booth wraps and if they were still paying cash at toll booths they received collateral pieces that explained what changes were coming to the roadway, where they could purchase a SunPass and what the important dates were. In addition, we printed informational ads in major local newspapers and community papers, purchased radio spots in English, Spanish and Creole. Then we decided to add television into the marketing mix by producing 60 second informational spots that put a picture to ORT. To complement the spots, a full 30 minute informational video was produced and aired for several weekends on major television networks. All portions of this campaign were designed to inform, but ultimately to drive traffic to a website designed just for the conversion. The new site MDXORT.com was truly the hub of this campaign and although websites are an essential part of any campaign, we identified the need to draw attention to the site. In every piece of communication, the website became the center for all updates.

2010

CCR Group

The number is alarming. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, more than 37,000 people die every year in traffic accidents on Brazil’s streets, avenues and roads. That is like having 185 commercial airplanes crashing every year in Brazil. CCR is concerned about these figures, and decided to do more than merely maintain its highways in excellent condition and offer services to its users. From the same expertise with which it administrates 1,571 kilometers of highways, CCR understands that the best way to lower accident rates is to invest in traffic education and in the preparation of future drivers. So, in 2002, the CCR Group, through its CCR AutoBAn concessionaire that administrates the Anhanguera-Bandeirantes System began its Road to Citizenship program. The objective was to take information on traffic safety and citizenship to the public schools in the cities through which its highways run. Because the project was so well received in those cities, the company decided to take it to other CCR concessionaires: CCR NovaDutra (Via Dutra) and CCR ViaOeste (Castello Branco and Raposo Tavares). Last year, CCR worked on a broad front with city governments and Departments of Education to extend Road to Citizenship to all of its concessionaires. Therefore, as of 2010, the cities involved with the concessionaires CCR Ponte (Rio Niterói Bridge) and CCR ViaLagos (Lagos Highway), in Rio de Janeiro; CCR RodoNorte (BR-277 and BR-376), in Paraná; and CCR RodoAnel (western section of the Mário Covas Ring Road), in São Paulo, are also working with the program. Road to Citizenship became one of the main corporate responsibility programs of the CCR Group. Since its creation, it has benefited approximately 750,000 children in 72 municipalities.

2009

North Texas Tollway Authority

The North Texas Tollway Authority's Sustainability Initiative is a multi-faceted approach to environmental stewardship that seeks to improve air quality, protect water resources, and enhance sustainability and aesthetics that ultimately lead to a safer, cleaner, more efficient and enjoyable drive for motorists traveling in North Texas.

2008

N3 Toll Concession (Pty) Ltd, Community Medical Services

Community Medical Services (CMS) is a project in which a core of volunteers, aided by an ever-increasing number of partners, offer their time and expertise during peak holiday periods to provide emergency assistance to motorists on the N3 Toll Route and the adjacent impoverished community of Van Reenen village in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Participants this Easter, which coincided with CMS’ 25th anniversary of selfless public service on the N3 Highway, included CMS paramedics themselves, N3TC, The Road Safety Foundation, Unicef, The Quadraplegic Association of South Africa, Monroe Shock Absorbers (Tenneco), Bridgestone SA and BMW South Africa.

2007

Autovias S.A.

Autovias S/A is a private-sector company, which has been awarded a 20-year government franchise for Lot 10 of the “São Paulo State Highway Franchise Program.” Currently, it is responsible for managing 316.5 km of highways, and the area under its direct management is the geoeconomic region of Ribeirão Preto, Araraquara, São Carlos and Franca. The highway grid under Autovias jurisdiction comprises five highway segments located in the Northwestern region of the São Paulo State, extending into the State’s central area. The toll road system operation involves a number of activities, including infrastructure construction works, which often cause topography and landscape changes to occur, modifying the behavior of water dynamics within catchment areas, leading to: erosion, settling, decreased ground-water infiltration, particularly in aquifer recharge capacity, and direct changes in the local hydrological cycle. In mid 1998, Autovias created the “Waterway” (Via das Ãguas) program, aimed at mitigating the impacts felt by natural resources, in particular water resources, as the entire highway grid which it manages is located on an aquifer recharge zone. It consists of building rainwater containment dams along the highway grid managed by the company, particularly in the areas of public-supply springs, waterways and headwaters located within the drainage basins of the Sapucai-Mirim, Pardo and Grande rivers. The objectives of the system are: to store rainwater fl owing from the highways and adjacent areas; to slow down the kinetic speed of such water, allowing it to infiltrate and consequently recharge the aquifer; and to prevent the water table from lowering and the ground from eroding and being dislodged along drainage areas.

2006

Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA)

Over the last few years, TCA has broadened its comprehensive community outreach program to educate Orange County residents on the benefits of The Toll Roads as well as the largely unknown accomplishments of TCA. The new efforts emphasized community outreach on the plans to build the last 16 miles of Orange County’s toll road system known as Foothill-South, and include community outreach programs, school and educational programs, and holiday toy and food drives.

2005

Concessionária de Rodovias do Interior Paulista S/A

Intervias Is a highway concessionaire (Toll Company) which has as its main responsibility the administration of six important highways of the State of São Paulo. Intervias has the commitment of recovering, maintaining, enlarging and improving these roads and freeways, besides offering assistance service to the users and implementing traffic operation and control equipments, to provide comfort, safety and satisfaction to drivers and pedestrians. Through the Projeto Escola Intervias (Intervias School Project), having as its slogan “Humanizing Traffic through Education”, the company develops the education of values, providing the dissemination of learning which will lead to the human relation universe and social relationship which favor a thorough citizenship exercise through an ethic-based process of inclusion.

2004

Concessionaria de Rodovias do Oeste de São Paulo - Viaoes

This project was conducted in collaboration with the Brazilian Association for the Search and Protection of Missing Children (ABCD). Pictures of missing children where printed on the back of vouchers of eight toll stations in order to increase awareness of ABCD, its work and its victims. Because of this initiative, three children were found and many more people have been exposed to this important information.

2003

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise

The Suncoast Parkway is Florida’s Turnpike’s 42-mile, new alignment, limited-access toll facility, which impacts over 220 wetland acres as well as over 600 private property owners.  In response to these concerns, the Turnpike Enterprise developed and implemented the Aesthetic Design Guidelines (ADG) to control the design process and ensure that the Parkway be compatible with the environment.  Also, the Enterprise recognized the opportunity to construct a multi-modal shared-use along the corridor and created a multi use “linear park” adjacent to the roadway facility.  Therefore, this parkway provides not only a memorable driving experience, but also the merging of social opportunities and innovative use, while preserving delicate environmental conditions.

2002

Blue Water Bridge Authority

The Blue Water Bridge Authority has successfully completed a comprehensive archeological mitigation program to allow the construction of a new duty store.  This was a complicated program to engineer, as it required the utmost care and sensitivity on the part of the Authority in handling the cultural and spiritual concerns of the Aamjiwnaang (Chippewas) First Nation Community.  Some of those concerns were in regards to the responsible disinterment and re-interment of several burial sites within the project area.  Ingenuity in engineering techniques was used to minimize impact to the site and maximize the amount of the site that could remain undisturbed.

2012

Autostrada del Brennero SpA

The Autostrada del Brennero SpA,home of the A22 motorway, won in the category of Operations for successfully experimenting with eco-friendly, noise reducing sound barriers along the 315 km (196 mi) route. The A22 motorway  collaborated with the community of Isera to erect the first solar-powered noise protection wall in Italy. The wall’s soundproofing protects the towns and communities located near the southbound stretch of the motorway, measuring 1067 m (3500 ft) long and 5.6 m (just over 18 ft) tall. The surface accommodates 3944 photovoltaic panels, which help to generate electrical power. The photovoltaic plant actively contributes to maintaining air quality and helps to reduce the greenhouse effect, and ultimately reduces global warming. The A22 motorway continues to move towards erecting sound-absorbing noise barriers wherever possible, equipped with photovoltaic panels.

2011

North Texas Tollway Authority

The North Texas Tollway Authority’s (NTTA) mission is to enhance mobility through responsible and innovative tolling solutions. As of December 11, 2010, the NTTA became the United State’s largest tolling system to convert its approximately 65 miles of toll roads, bridges and tunnels to all-electronic toll collection (all-ETC), eliminating cash collection in the lanes. All-ETC improves air quality, fuel efficiency and time savings through reduced stop-and-go traffic and idling at toll booths. It also heightens motorist and employee safety through the elimination of merging and weaving at and around toll booths. The operational savings NTTA will realize over time will be reinvested in other North Texas mobility projects.

2010

Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Turnpike Authority Division

In 2007, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) identified a customer need to obtain a TxTag® transponder on the roadway as opposed to driving to the Customer Service Center, ordering one through the mail or visiting retail outlet. To meet this demand, the Texas Turnpike Authority (TTA) Division of TxDOT created the In-Lane Tag Sales program. This program made TxTag transponders available for purchase at all of their mainline toll plazas on the Central Texas Turnpike System (CTTS) in the attended cash collection lanes. Drivers traveling on Loop 1, State Highway (SH) 45 north, and SH 130 in the Austin, Texas area could now purchase funded TxTag transponders at a mainline plaza for $20 cash, install the tag and use it immediately.  The program was well received from drivers on the CTTS, and as of March 2010, more than 120,000 tags had been sold through the In-Lane Tag Sales program. The TTA Division continually strives to provide drivers with customer-centric programs and approaches, representing leadership in the toll industry.  The In-Lane Tag Sales program is an excellent addition to that culture, making toll facilities both more user-friendly and more affordable to customers on the go.

2009

Harris County Toll Road Authority

Two separate motor vehicle accidents caused by motorists traveling in the wrong direction along the Westpark Tollway occurred within a span of four months in late 2006.  Both of these horrific accidents resulted in a number of fatalities.  The Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) immediately began investigating technologies that could help detect vehicles entering the tollway in the wrong direction.  After rigorously testing the reliability and accuracy of various technologies, HCTRA selected a readily deployable technology.  Wrong way detection stations were designed and deployed at each egress point along the Westpark Tollway in addition to various locations along the tollway’s mainline, for a total of 14 separate detection sites.

2008

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, SunWatch Operations Center *

The SunWatch Operations Center is a command-and-control technical support center specifically designed to manage toll collection systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As the hub of FTE’s complex tolling network – FTE operates more than 750 toll lanes across 606 miles from Miami to north Florida – SunWatch computers track equipment, systems, software and facilties, allowing staff to keep their fingers on the pulse of the system’s performance throughout the entire state. Through technology, they can detect and diagnose problems remotely, often making repairs from their work stations. In addition, a toll-free number into the Center allows toll-plaza personnel to report problems. SunWatch staff assess critical incidents, and when warranted, dispatch a technician to the site for speedy maintenance. SunWatch is FTE’s “high-tech eyes” on the system that work to maintain peak performance by effecting repairs swiftly, whether remotely or by efficiently deploying the 150 technical support professionals stationed across the state. In keeping with its sophisticated technology, and to allow SunWatch staff to quickly access information about the system and deploy resources, all information is depicted graphically, utilizing high-tech wall-size monitors with map overlays, status charts and alarm screens.

2007

The Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority *

The Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority has built an exceptional transportation project to address the severe traffic congestion facing daily commuters to downtown Tampa — a 10-mile long set of reversible express lanes using a state-of-the-art open road tolling (ORT) system. The heart of the new facility is an elegant, distinctive three-lane, reversible bridge, constructed in segments at an off-site factory, then delivered to the Expressway and assembled in the median of the existing four lane roadway. Because of its unusual design, the bridge was built entirely within the existing right-of-way, dramatically reducing project costs and virtually eliminating any impacts to the adjacent community or the environment. The reversible lanes are for cars and express buses only and have more than doubled the capacity of the existing tollway, completely eliminating congestion during peak commuting hours. And, in addition to the world’s first reversible ORT solution, the toll system also includes an innovative video toll collection product to provide non-stop travel for customers on the new bridge. This combination of timesavings, convenience, reliability and safety has resulted in traffic volumes that are more than 25% over original projections for the first year of operation.

2006

Minnesota Department of Transportation

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) implemented the state’s first optional toll lane project called the I-394 MnPASS in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.  This project, which opened in May 2005, converts the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-394 into high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, allowing solo drivers the opportunity to pay an electronic fee to bypass congestion.  This very unique design necessitated an innovative approach to traffic management and open road tolling. As a HOT facility, the lanes remain open to HOV use at no charge for transit riders, car pools and motorcyclists.

2005

ASF - Autoroutes du Sud de la France

ASF experienced, during 2004 and 2005 peak periods, an innovative traffic management technique on one of Europe’s busiest corridor : the “speed control system”. Based on the use of a specially written algorithm and a range of ITS technologies, this experiment aimed at applying, on a 90-km long motorway stretch, dynamic “speed limits” depending on traffic volumes. The objectives of this experiment were a gain in capacity, safety and driving comfort. The evaluation results of the system, provided early 2005, proved to be fully satisfactory. It highlighted exceptional results : (1)An increase by 10% of total traffic flowed during peak periods ; (2)A drop of congestion volumes by 16%, which was valued at 1,8 Million US$ of socio-economic gain; (3)An average time gain of 10% for all vehicles concerned by the experiment, (4)A decrease by 48% of the number of accidents, (5) An excellent respect of “speed instructions” given to the drivers and a very good appreciation of the system by road users.

2004

ASF - Autoroutes du Sud de la France

ASF worked closely with Météo France in order to create a weather forecasting system that would help ASF be prepared ahead of time for all kinds of winter weather and would also provide motorists with up-to-date weather and road condition information. After implementing the project in 2002, ASF has successfully handled two serious weather crises. The ASF system has provided improved quality weather information, which has made it possible for ASF staff to prepare appropriately for any weather crisis and to lower operational costs.

2003

North Texas Tollway Authority

In the endeavor to pursue creative and efficient management practices, the Authority has undertaken an initiative to manage and access their substantial data sets through the implementation of an integrated, enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS).  First, the Authority conducted a needs assessment in order to evaluate existing data sets, existing hardware and software, demonstrate how GIS software can be used and finally, develop an implementation schedule.  The primary benefit of the enterprise GIS project has been the organization-wide deployment of data and GIS-based tools that provide access to highly accurate and timely data across the organization.

2002

Harris County Toll Road Authority

The program required the development of cooperative partnerships with various departments associated with HCTRA, and outlines an immediate plan of action required from any and/or all participating agencies. In addition to HCTRA's Incident Management Team, such agencies include Constable deputies from five precincts that have jurisdiction on the toll road system; various fire departments; HAZMAT; assisting maintenance and environmental clean-up contractors, etc. along with key HCTRA departmental personnel. The program is in place to ensure a preplanned and coordinated response to incidents on-or-affecting the Toll Road system, as well as outlining effective media/public awareness communications procedures. HCTRA's Incident Management plan also called for the development of a motorist assistance program to assist patrons (free of charge) with minor automotive emergencies and remove stalled or incapacitated vehicles from the road as quickly as possible. The agency's Patron Emergency Assistance Team (PEAT) began as a pilot program and has been enthusiastically welcomed by HCTRA patrons. PEAT plays an integral part in achieving the program's objectives and its planned expansion will provide total coverage of the entire toll road system and extended service hours.

2012

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission *

Trip Talk is an application used to deliver information to drivers via smartphone device. It is the first hands-free, eyes-free, interoperable smartphone application that broadcasts travel advisories to drivers without requiring any interaction, therefore complying with state anti-texting and distracted driving laws. Drivers receive only those advisories that are within the range of the driver, thus a custom queue contains only relevant advisories for that area. When advisories are in range of the driver, their smartphones immediately “come to life” to begin broadcasting the message. Through its web interface, any agency may have its data integrated into the system so that drivers can continuously receive travel advisories, even as they cross state and agency boundaries. The interface also allows agencies to track anonymous probe data for traffic management, without recording any information about the individual user

2011

ASF/VINCI Autoroutes

The project consists in three main components: maps, virtual VMS and emergency calls. Based on the real time knowledge of the road operator concerning their network, maps can be generated, figuring POI (tourist interests, hotel, etc.) rest areas and service areas of the networks (with a description of all the services provided), exit ramps, as well as road work, travel times, traffic information and traffic incidents (congestions, accidents, alerts on speed limits.) Based on the GPS of the smart phone, the same information can also be presented in a personalized way: virtual VMS is shown along the trip of our customers directly to their iPhone. Only the information concerning the specific road the customer is using is then provided. Finally, knowing the customers position on the network, a third innovation is offered to the users: in case of emergency, or car break in, a simple click on the emergency call button establishes a connection with the operator, exactly as if the customer had walked along the motorway to reach the next emergency phone. The call and position of the customer is presented to the operator directly on emergency management tool. Reaction delays can then be highly reduced and safety highly increased.

2010

Queensland Motorways Limited

Queensland is Australia’s fastest growing state with more than 1,500 people migrating each week. In the capital city, Brisbane, more than 250,000 trips are recorded on the Gateway and Logan motorway toll roads each day. Over the past decade growing traffic numbers have contributed to heavy congestion, lengthened journey times and reduced trip time reliability. Toll plazas added to the problem, creating a choke point for motorists. In 2005 an AU$1.88 billion upgrade of the Gateway Bridge and motorway was announced by the State Government. It also announced that Queensland Motorways would transition from hybrid cash and constrained lane electronic tolling to a full open-road completely electronic tolling system known as free-flow tolling, prior to the opening of the second Gateway Bridge in 2011.  In 2007 the scope of the project increased to include the Logan and Gateway Extension motorways and its delivery was brought forward by two years, to provide the benefits of the system to customers sooner. The new system was implemented to reduce congestion, and improve travel times and safety. Queensland Motorways established partnerships and alliances with leading industry vendors to deliver the major program areas, which included: roadside systems and infrastructure; central back office systems and processes;  extensive civil construction works;  brand, product and channel development;  organisational change management; and Communication and stakeholder engagement.  In July 2008, Queensland Motorways successfully delivered the project’s first phase with the introduction of the advanced SAP system for the company’s human resources and payroll processes. This was followed by the delivery of a new SAP finance system in December 2008. In parallel with these activities, the Logan Alliance – comprising Queensland Motorways, BMD Constructions, and Kellogg, Brown and Root– carried out civil works to upgrade interchanges and toll points on the Logan and Gateway Extension motorways. The Leighton Abigroup Joint Venture carried out the civil works on the Gateway Motorway as part of the Gateway Upgrade Project. The works also involved installing 13 tolling gantries and associated infrastructure across the road network. On 1 July 2009 the transition to free-flow tolling began with the launch of the new Central System, eCommerce website, IVR system, brand and suite of product and payment channels. On 22 July, cash tolling on the roadside ceased permanently when the cash booths and toll plazas were closed and the new roadside system commenced full free-flow tolling operation. Queensland Motorways successfully transitioned to the new tolling system, with no unexpected loss of revenue and minimal impact on customers.

2009

407 ETR Concession Company, Ltd. *

In May 2006, 407 ETR implemented Vehicle Fingerprinting, state-of-the-art technology in vehicle recognition, also referred to as Vehicle Data Tag (VDT).  The implementation of this leading edge application has had a significant impact.  It has dramatically reduced the number of plates requiring manual verification and the number of staff performing this function.

2008

Illinois Tollway

Having a web site is old news, but having a customer-centric Business Portal is the new standard by which your customers judge their relationship with you. The Illinois Tollway is enhancing customer service by providing Web-based tools and services to more than 2.6 million I-PASS customer accounts that pay tolls electronically and demand account management features in a timely manner. With the implementation of system-wide Open Road Tolling, the Illinois Tollway upgraded its traditional Web site to a Business Portal to meet customer eCommerce demands. These demands became business critical as the primary method by which the Tollway received its revenue shifted from 62 percent cash usage in 2003 to 80 percent electronic usage in 2007. Web-based services include the ability to add funds to I-PASS accounts, maintain account information, activate transponders purchased at retail stores or calculate toll rates. In addition, more than $52 million in revenue has been processed through the Portal and a substantial monetary savings has been realized of more than $16 million by processing customer transactions electronically rather than through the contracted 1-800 customer service phone line.

2007

Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) – which operates 537 miles of toll roads – has long recognized the critical nature of effectively communicating roadway conditions with the traveling public, media, emergency responders and internal management. With a goal of expanding its information-dissemination capabilities, the PTC launched a new Turnpike Roadway Information Program – TRIP. TRIP gathers information through automated data and video feeds from the PA Turnpike’s 24/7 Traffic Operations Center along with information from roadway crews, police, and emergency responders and delivers it to the public via its Interactive Travel Web Map, service-plaza message boards, the toll-free telephone call-in advisory system, and the automated Preferred Traveler e-mail and text message notification systems. This integrated communications network program enables the PTC to deliver accurate and consistent real-time travel information to nearly 190 million annual customers, further proving the PTC’s axiom, “You’re never alone on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.”

2006

BRISA / VIA VERDE PORTUGAL (member of APCAP - Portuguese Association of Toll Motorway Operators)

Under the framework of services related to the vehicle and driver, the goal was to conceive and develop new Electronic Identification and Payment Services, based on the existing OBU and same Via Verde Central System. The following services were identified: (1) Parking Lots (2) Gas Station (3) Access Control to Historical Areas (4) Loading/Unloading in Special dedicated areas (5) Street Parking. Besides increasing the customer base, the goal of Via Verde Portugal was to broaden the range of services supported on the same platform, thus strengthening its business model and technology option.

2005

Harris County Toll Road Authority

Construction of the Harris County Toll Road Authority’s new Westpark Tollway, a first-of-its-kind, totally electronic toll facility, began in June of 2001.  The Toll Road Authority opened the first 8 miles of this EZ TAG Only facility in May of 2004 and completion of the entire 14 miles of mainlanes was celebrated, in June of 2005.  The alignment of the Westpark Tollway begins in Houston’s Galleria area, just west of the 610 Loop and terminates at FM 1464 at the Harris/Ft. Bend County line.  The Ft. Bend County Toll Road Authority has connected their new toll road with Harris County’s, which provides direct access to the Grand Parkway (US-99).  Since opening the mainlanes in June, the new Westpark Tollway processed over 2.2 million transactions during the month of July, and our numbers continue to grow.

2004

ASETA

Via-T is a post-payment ETC system. Motorists only use one OBU to drive through the whole Spanish Network. This interoperable ETC system has resulted in a greater number of motorists using Spanish toll roads. In addition to this, prices for the OBU units have dropped, because VIA-T is the first multi-vendor system where currently six different ETC manufacturers are potential suppliers. The VIA-T can easily be implemented in other countries. Recently, Spain has been focusing on extending the VIA-T service to Portugal and France.

2003

Societe des Autoroutes du Nord et de l'Est de la France

The SANEF radio broadcasts on the frequency 107.7 Mhz and gives information to clients related to traffic and weather conditions or to any event disrupting traffic flow.  However, there is no permanent presence of speakers during the night shift.  In order to be able to give traffic information when no “human” speaker is at the studio, SANEF implemented a program that extracts traffic and event information through software and system known as SYLVIA and is broadcast using ELIOTT, a virtual speaker.  Therefore, traffic information may still be disseminated on a real time basis in correspondence to changing traffic conditions.

2002

Autoroutes du Sud de la France

The initial objective of traffic forecasting was to provide information support for motorway operations, in planning road maintenance work, in decision-making for implementing operations measures, for toll station shift organization, and other needs. However, with the increasing emphasis on customer service, there is the clear need to enable the public at large to benefit from traffic forecasts so that each driver can best prepare his or her travel plans. Therefore, in addition to the usual information diffusion means traditionally used to inform its customers about traffic conditions (the radio station, the telephone information center, and the variable message signs), ASF now provides a new traffic forecasting service based on the two-fold principle of "dynamic" and "personalized" information. This new service, which has been on line since summer 2001 on the ASF Web site (www.asf.fr), provides ongoing and evolving information which specifically responds to the users requests. Thanks to historical data gathered on the whole network and processed with powerful and "state-of-the art" statistical techniques, customers have now on-line personalized traffic forecasts allowing them to choose the right time to plan their trip on the motorway.

2010

North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)

Submission Category: Customer Service
The NTTA, has a responsibility to deliver to service to their customers and stakeholders regardless of the economic environment. The NTTA is committed to providing the “highest level of service for the least amount of cost that is valuable for its customers and responsible for the NTTA. Having committed to an All Electronic Tolling (ETC) strategy, the NTTA customer experience has become a much larger challenge. The elimination of toll booths, the implementation of ZipCash payment systems and new facilities have put increased volume and pressure on all customer touch points. Seeking a solution to the pressure of providing value added services with less resources and capital, NTTA turned to an unlikely partner: their customers. NTTA put their “customers to work” providing advice, coaching employees, auditing customer experience and training NTTA personnel. And not just a “couple” of customers helping out “every once and a while”, thousands of NTTA customers provide valuable coaching, advice and insight daily throughout the agency. Utilizing Tamer Partners Corporation’s CDM (Customer Driven Management) application the NTTA can access customer’s 24x7 for input. This results in hundreds of customers assisting individuals (and their managers) in addressing specific performance areas by providing coaching, advice, encouragement and training. The impact is seen in reduced management expenses, increased customer loyalty, streamlined process, changed employee behavior and perhaps most importantly dramatically improved customer experience. In addition to synchronizing with customers, the NTTA also leverages CDM to facilitate virtual focus groups. The NTTA was considering two sign designs to communicate a rate change based on vehicle axles. Instead of using a traditional focus group, the NTTA was able to use this technology to get feedback regarding the two signs. These customers viewed the designs online and provided enough detailed feedback and advice that the NTTA was able to produce a third and final design that is in place today. A similar process allowed customers to view and provide feedback on new invoice layouts that were being considered. These two instances alone save tens of thousands of dollars in traditional focus group costs as well as reducing contact volumes and their associated costs. NTTA increased their level of service at a minimal cost while reducing the operational costs of quality monitoring and coaching staff. Imagine — Customers and a public agency working together for the people of North Texas.

2009

407 ETR Concession Company, Ltd.

Submission Category: Operations
In May 2006, 407 ETR implemented Vehicle Fingerprinting, state-of-the-art technology in vehicle recognition, also referred to as Vehicle Data Tag (VDT). The implementation of this leading edge application has had a significant impact. It has dramatically reduced the number of plates requiring manual verification and the number of staff performing this function. 407 ETR’s customers make over 375,000 trips each workday and are sent over 1.3 million toll bills each month. With 20% of these trips being captured by video, a significant amount of revenue relies on being able to accurately identify these vehicles. Experience has shown that plate character information alone is not sufficient for processing some video transactions. VDT technology enhances overall vehicle recognition accuracy by providing the ability to identify vehicles using more than the plate. Available VDT software was integrated with the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software already used by 407 ETR. Considerable customization was required to build the interface between these two applications and to integrate with 407 ETR business rules. VDT technology was piloted in the second half of 2006 to allow for fine-tuning, quality assurance and learning and then was officially launched in the first quarter of 2007.

2008

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, SunWatch Operations Center

Submission Category: Operations
The SunWatch Operations Center is a command-and-control technical support center specifically designed to manage toll collection systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As the hub of FTE’s complex tolling network – FTE operates more than 750 toll lanes across 606 miles from Miami to north Florida – SunWatch computers track equipment, systems, software and facilities, allowing staff to keep their fingers on the pulse of the system’s performance throughout the entire state. Through technology, they can detect and diagnose problems remotely, often making repairs from their work stations. In addition, a toll-free number into the Center allows toll-plaza personnel to report problems. SunWatch staff assess critical incidents, and when warranted, dispatch a technician to the site for speedy maintenance. SunWatch is FTE’s “high-tech eyes” on the system that work to maintain peak performance by effecting repairs swiftly, whether remotely or by efficiently deploying the 150 technical support professionals stationed across the state. In keeping with its sophisticated technology, and to allow SunWatch staff to quickly access information about the system and deploy resources, all information is depicted graphically, utilizing high-tech wall-size monitors with map overlays, status charts and alarm screens.

2007

The Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority

Submission Category: Operations
The Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority has built an exceptional transportation project to address the severe traffic congestion facing daily commuters to downtown Tampa — a 10-mile long set of reversible express lanes using a state-of-the-art open road tolling (ORT) system. The heart of the new facility is an elegant, distinctive three-lane, reversible bridge, constructed in segments at an off-site factory, then delivered to the Expressway and assembled in the median of the existing fourlane roadway. Because of its unusual design, the bridge was built entirely within the existing right-of-way, dramatically reducing project costs and virtually eliminating any impacts to the adjacent community or the environment. The reversible lanes are for cars and express buses only and have more than doubled the capacity of the existing tollway, completely eliminating congestion during peak commuting hours. And, in addition to the world’s first reversible ORT solution, the toll system also includes an innovative video toll collection product to provide non-stop travel for customers on the new bridge. This combination of timesavings, convenience, reliability and safety has resulted in traffic volumes that are more than 25% over original projections for the first year of operation.

2006

E-470 Public Highway Authority

Submission Category: Customer Service
With a goal of increasing productivity and improving customer service through employee involvement, the E-470’s mission was to evoke a culture change that would enhance toll operations by utilizing business analytics and employee commitment. Applying process analysis and quality measurements such as Six Sigma and Lean Speed to isolate operational inefficiencies, the objective was to focus on these identified areas and maximize productivity by employing creative measurement techniques in a dynamic, competitive team environment that rewards for success.

 

 

 

 

2005

Harris County Toll Road Authority

Submission Category: Technology
Construction of the Harris County Toll Road Authority’s new Westpark Tollway, a first-of-its-kind, totally electronic toll facility, began in June of 2001. The Toll Road Authority opened the first 8 miles of this EZ TAG-Only facility in May of 2004 and completion of the entire 14 miles of mainlanes was celebrated in June of 2005. The alignment of the Westpark Tollway begins in Houston’s Galleria area, just west of the 610 Loop and terminates at FM 1464 at the Harris/Ft. Bend County line. The Ft. Bend County Toll Road Authority has connected their new toll road with Harris County’s, which provides direct access to the Grand Parkway (US-99). Since opening the mainlanes in June, the new Westpark Tollway processed over 2.2 million transactions during the month of July, and numbers continue to grow.

 

2004

Concessionaria de Rodovias do Oeste de São Paulo – Viaoes

Submission Category: Social Responsibility
The “Back Home” program is conducted in collaboration with the Brazilian Association for the Search and Protection of Missing Children (ABCD). The Program focuses on two major fronts: mass dissemination of victim information and heightened societal awareness of the problem. Pictures and data on missing children are printed on the back of millions of toll vouchers handed out daily, as well as on billboards, leaflets, web sites, VMS and through the media. Truckers are particularly targeted as a group who sometimes contribute to this tragedy by inadvertently offering rides to such persons. As a result of this initiative, three children were found and many more people have been exposed to this important information.

 

 

2003

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise

Submission Category: Social Responsibility
First and foremost, the Turnpike Enterprise recognized the permanent and potentially devastating impact that the Suncoast Parkway could have on the natural environment and surrounding communities. In response to this concern, the Turnpike Enterprise developed and implemented the ADG to control the design process and ensure that the Parkway be compatible with the environment. In addition, the Turnpike Enterprise recognized the opportunity for a multi-modal shared-use along the corridor and constructed a multi-use “linear park” adjacent to the roadway facility.

2013

State Road and Tollway Authority

Mobility in the Atlanta metro area has been a challenge for the region for many years. The need for new mobility choices is evident throughout the region. The previous I-85 HOV lanes consistently operated over capacity and did not provide reliable travel times for motorists. In particular, the I-85 corridor has limited transit options as well as physical constraints that make it unrealistic to add new capacity to the corridor due to minimal shoulder width and development all along both sides of the expressway.

The I-85 Express Lanes project was designed to provide for a more reliable trip along with free access provided to transit, carpools of three or more, on-call emergency vehicles and alternate fuel vehicles with the appropriate license plate.  Transit enhancements were also a key component of the project as the lion’s share of the Congestion Reduction Demonstration (CRD) grant went to transit expansion in the corridor. These goals provided most of the travelers on I-85 with an option to use the Express Lanes for a faster trip when needed. Before the Express Lanes opening, single occupant motorists were not able to use the HOV lane, therefore they were forced to use the general purpose lanes at all times.

The I-85 Express Lanes project demonstrated excellence in several ways. The partnership between GDOT, GRTA and SRTA was unparalleled and afforded major milestones to be accomplished without the typical bureaucratic “red tape” that plagues government agencies when implementing major projects. In addition, every staff member at SRTA understood their role in the project and were all striving towards a common goal. This helped to keep morale at an all-time high in the agency and promoted camaraderie amongst all staff. The successes and lessons learned from the project have been documented and shared with numerous tolling entities across the nation. SRTA has led various sessions on how to implement a HOT lane project, specifically providing details on the marketing and communications campaign strategies.

2013

E-470 Public Highway Authority
E-470 Public Highway Authority, The Solar PoE-470’s commitment to being socially responsible and a toll industry leader is demonstrated through its recent effort to rely on cleaner and less costly energy sources. In 2012, E-470 completed one of the largest photovoltaic system installation projects of any toll road in the United States. E-470 is now one of only a few tolling agencies that rely extensively on solar generated electricity. 
 
Within the 47-mile E-470 corridor, this system powers a 17-mile stretch served by the Xcel Energy electrical grid. The 22 solar sites host solar generated electricity panels for road surveillance cameras, road signage, variable message signs and streetlights, toll collection equipment, toll plazas, maintenance facilities and the E-470 Administrative Headquarters Facility. This project has significantly reduced electricity costs and E-470’s reliance on nonrenewable energy sources. This accomplishment sets the stage for further development of E-470’s long-term plan to increase its use of renewable energy. E-470 is currently pursuing solar power systems for other segments of the toll road.
 
E-470 embarked on the solar project with three primary objectives: (1) combat rising energy costs, (2) reduce E-470’s environmental impact and (3) achieve these objectives with minimal financial investment. E-470 reached these objectives through the installation of a 707.52-kilowatt (kW) solar system consisting of 22 solar array sites along a 17-mile stretch of the toll road from 64th Avenue to Gartrell Road.
 
E-470’s solar installation project, among the largest of any toll road agency in America, provides an exemplary case study and blueprint for the tolling industry. The successful implementation of 22 solar sites along E-470 has resulted in reduction of energy costs with no capital investment or operational costs for E-470. Other tolling agencies can look at how these demonstrable results were achieved in order to guide their own similar projects.

2013

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
On September 26, 2011, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's (OTA) 15,000 square-foot PIKEPASS Customer Service Center (CSC) in Oklahoma City, OK caught fire and was completely destroyed. By midafternoon the following day (or six work-hours later) customer service calls had been re-routed to a short-term, alternate site and 12 CSC agents were answering customer calls. By the end of the following day, all CSC agents had been relocated to the site and were providing customer support.
 
Two days after the PIKEPASS fire, on September 28, 2011, a temporary store was setup and operational. The temporary PIKEPASS store remained in-service until the original location had been demolished, rebuilt, furnished and equipped. Eight months after the fire, PIKEPASS personnel fully occupied the completely new PIKEPASS Customer Service Center. The move back to the original site was completed over a three and a half day period and was transparent to PIKEPASS customers.
 
It is important to note that during the actual fire as well as the days and months following, due to the efforts of all departments of the agency, all PIKEPASS revenue was continuing to be posted to customer accounts and that there was no lost revenue.
 
Immediately after the fire, despite OTA’s PIKEPASS personnel not having a place to work or the tools and resources necessary to do their jobs, customer service was only interrupted for six hours. They maintained all obligations to contractors and vendors. Furthermore, violation processing continued uninterrupted and no employee lost his or her job. These combined actions are a testament to the foresight, hard work and cooperation displayed by the entire OTA team.

2012

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Submission Category: Technology

Trip Talk is an application used to deliver information to drivers via smart phone device. It is the first hands-free, eyes-free, interoperable smart phone application that broadcasts travel advisories to drivers without requiring any interaction, therefore complying with state anti-texting and distracted driving laws. Drivers receive only those advisories that are within the range of the driver, thus a custom queue contains only relevant advisories for that area. When advisories are in range of the driver, their smart phones immediately “come to life” to begin broadcasting the message. Through its web interface, any agency may have its data integrated into the system so that drivers can continuously receive travel advisories, even as they cross state and agency boundaries. The interface also allows agencies to track anonymous probe data for traffic management, without recording any information about the individual user.

2011

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Submission Category: Customer Service
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission developed three web-based programs to help improve communications with customers and internal staff. Alone, each was an effective package. However, integrated and used together, they make a powerful Communications Management Suite (CMS) that improves customer service, increases efficiencies and provides a potential new revenue source for the Commission. The first phase of the CMS was “TRIP” (Turnpike Roadway Information Program) a first generation automated travel advisory system. The PTC has expanded TRIP – added a customer contact and tech dispatch system, made use of mobile devices, social networking and cloud computing to create this suite of programs. Each of the new programs rests on the same web-based technology platform which was built in an expandable and modular fashion. Each has a mobile app or telephony component that leverages cloud technologies. Each program has components that improve work/cost efficiencies. Two of the programs have the potential for revenue generation. The three integrated programs in the CMS are:
 
  1. Customer Assistance Center Ticketing Utility System (CACTUS). CACTUS is a customized ticketing system that interfaces customer inquiries and trouble reports with PTC depts and functions. What makes CACTUS different from other ticketing systems is that it is integrated with other initiatives and serves as an overall controller.
  2. TRIP II – The Next Generation. TRIP was  designed to improve customer service by disseminating travel conditions through a web map/web site, via email/text alerts, on VMS signs, and through an interactive voice response (IVR) dial-in phone line. 
  3. Reports from the Road Crews (REPORTS). REPORTS is a web and telephony-based tool for PTC maintenance staff to report weather/roadway conditions while on the road. A Blackberry Application allows crews to enter conditions and view other reported conditions. It allows managers to view/approve reports from virtually anywhere. Reported conditions are automatically stored in the system and can be viewed by staff or crews for proactive response. Conditions are disseminated to the public via the TRIP II system. These three programs, made possible by leveraging new technologies, work in an integrated fashion to improve timeliness and accuracy of roadway reports to the public, to manage tech dispatch and repair tracking and provide a potential for producing revenue.

2013

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited
The Open Road Tolling (ORT) Project comprises of three different entities. The ORT Operations consists of the road side system where transactions are generated; images are taken; reading of the tag; Vehicle License Plate information captured and toll tariffs applied as well as the ORT back office that applies discounts; verify compliance and carries out manual verification. The second entity is the TransactionClearing house operations where transactions are linked to an account and payments transacted. The third entity is the violations processing operations that manage overdue transactions, debt collection and enforcement. The Transaction Clearing House and violation-processing center are national assets from which all-electronic toll collection transactions and violations in South Africa are transacted. The integration of the processing of electronic toll transactions at the Bakwena toll plazas and the central Transaction Clearing House began in September 2012.
 
ORT objective was to centrally clear all-electronic transaction throughout South Africa from a central point. In addition, the aim was for users to have one tag and use it nationally in other South African conventional toll plazas, i.e. one tag and one account standard. The other objective was for users to have one account and manage numerous vehicles and tariffs payments through one account system this is also applicable to corporate fleets and organizations.
 
The successful integration between the ORT system, Transaction Clearing House and the violations processing center together with the interoperability with the ORT project with other conventional toll plazas is relevant to the overall toll industry. The ORT system is one of the largest of its kind in the world and interoperability is one of the first successful interactions internationally. The project has increased capacity and will continue to increase capacity through the conventional toll plazas and add convenience in the payment of toll tariffs in South Africa for users of the electronic toll collection system.

2014

Central Nippon Expressway Company Limited

The Tomei Expressway is a major artery that has made invaluable contributions to Japan’s economy, industry, and culture since it opened in 1969. But after nearly a half-century of often explosive economic development, traffic volumes have increased and the vehicles themselves are larger, so that most sections of the road face serious congestion. The 162-kilometer Shin (New) Tomei Expressway provides a second mobility option to ensure the free flow of people and goods between Tokyo, the center of Japan’s economy, and Nagoya, one of its main industrial cities. The new highway was designed to dramatically improve reliability and service levels on the existing Tomei Expressway; Provide more resilient infrastructure in Shinzuoka Prefecture along the Tomei Expressway, National Highway No. 1, and Japan Railway’s Tokaido line, an area that faces a higher risk of landslides, typhoons, and other severe conditions; Revitalize the national and regional economy by speeding up the flow of people and goods between two of Japan’s major metropolitan areas.

Vital Stats

  • 162 kilometers with 12 all-electronic tolling points
  • Construction cost of ¥2,571 billion (US$25.7 billion), funded mainly through the bond market
  • 92% reduction in episodes of traffic gridlock spanning 10 kilometers or more, from 227 to 18 per year, based on combined volume on the Tomei and Shin Tomei Expressways
  • 27.5% reduction in collisions involving human injury or death, from 521 to 378 per year
  • 70% of through traffic diverted to the Shin Tomei, with 80% of local traffic in Shizuoka Prefecture remaining on the original Tomei Expressway, and larger, long-haul vehicles switching to the new road
  • 13% increase in traffic volume within the region, from 73,000 to 83,000 vehicles per day
  • 97% increase in commercial/industrial land transactions in Shizuoka Prefecture, from 37 to 73 per year, in the first year after the Shin Tomei Expressway opened
  • 74% increase in the percentage of non-local tourists visiting Mt. Fuji Seseragi Park, from 23% before the road opened to 41% after.

Innovative Features

Central Nippon Expressway Co. Ltd. funded construction primarily through the bond market, with the understanding that the Japan Expressway Holding Debt Repayment Agency (JEHDRA) would take ownership of the road and assume its debts after the project was complete. The agency completed the project on budget, and almost a year ahead of schedule. The leasing agreement between Central Nippon and JEHDRA ensured that (1) Project costs would be fully repaid with interest; (2) an essential project would be completed earlier than would otherwise be possible, while minimizing the burden on public funds and allowing a profit for the private concessionaire and users benefit from a flexible tolling system that offers excellent ancillary services.

The project gave Central Nippon an opportunity to acquire field experience with new technologies and systems that will now be applied on other roads in the company’s portfolio. The highway uses real-time camera footage and back office analysis to track road conditions and advise drivers of congestion, collisions, or obstructions on the roadway, via electronic signage and onboard systems. The Shin Tomei Expressway runs on the straightest possible line through mountainous terrain. Central Nippon used state-of-the-art design and construction techniques to protect genetic diversity in the project area, incorporating design structures that would help prevent landslides and protect local ecosystems. The project relied on an innovative excavation method to build the large, cross-sectional tunnels the roadway required, and introduced a new, compact bridge design that featured long-span, lightweight superstructures.  Agency Contact, Satoshi Naito, Section Chief, s.naito.ab@c-nexco.co.jp+81-3-5776-5646

2014

North Texas Tollway Authority

Purpose and Objectives

The objective of NTTA’s Toll Enforcement Remedies Program is to ensure equitable payment by all toll road drivers and guarantee fairness to the 92% of customers who pay for their use of the region’s toll roads. As of June 2013, when the Texas Legislature authorized the program by adopting Senate Bill (SB) 1792, violators owed NTTA almost $50 million in unpaid tolls.

Over the short and longer term, the program was designed to:

Reduce the percentage of transactions that are invoiced and never paid to 7.4% in 2014 and 6.5% in 2015; Increase TollTag use to 80% in 2013 and 82% in 2014; Identify previously unmatched and unpursuable transactions; Streamline the collections process for unpaid accounts.

Between June and September 2013, NTTA offered a 90-day grace period to habitual violators. To encourage payment, the agency waived administrative fees on past due tolls for any customer who opened a new TollTag account or resolved an outstanding TollTag account balance.

Vital Stats

  • 50% decrease in habitual violators using toll roads

During the 90-day grace period:

  • More than 694,000 calls received
  • More than 71,200 front counter customers served
  • 22% year-over-year increase in new TollTags distributed
  • More than $4.7 million in past-due tolls collected
  • More than $4.4 million obligated in 5,300 customer payment plans to settle outstanding toll bills.

Innovative Features

NTTA grounded the three-year project in a commitment to fairness and meaningful consequences for drivers who routinely use the agency’s toll roads without paying for their use. In 2012, the Authority launched a communications and outreach project to encourage toll payment and build support for tougher toll enforcement legislation. The three-pronged strategy included a “Pay Up” education campaign targeting toll scofflaws, legislative education supported by key strategic partnerships and alliances, and legislative action to formally define habitual violators, then block their vehicle registrations and ban them from toll roads until their tolls are paid.

Thanks to the Toll Enforcement Remedies Program, millions of dollars collected from unpaid tolls help the North Texas Tollway Authority maintain high-quality roads and invest in much-needed transportation infrastructure across the region. The three-month grace period at the beginning of the program resulted in more than $9 million in collections and payment plans, boosted enforcement awareness among all TollTag and ZipCash customers, improved the consistency of toll enforcement remedies across Texas, and strengthened NTTA’s relationship with stakeholders and legislators.

By collaborating with tolling entities across the state, NTTA developed a consistent, universal approach to ensure payment across all customer groups. The program is a roadmap for improving tolling operations, for NTTA and all other toll businesses, providing a template for agencies to:

  • Keep faith with customers who consistently pay their tolls
  • Ensure due process for habitual violators and accountability for the agency
  • Provide expanded opportunities for prior notice and payment
  • Improve customer access to all-electronic toll tags.

Agency Contact: Kimberly Jackson, Senior Director of Public Affairs, kjackson@ntta.org

2014

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

Purpose and Objectives

On May 19 and 20, 2013, several tornados touched down in central Oklahoma, causing widespread destruction and devastation in several communities. A deadly EF5 tornado tore through heavily-populated Moore, OK, and also hit smaller communities north and east of Moore. The damage inflicted by the tornados included 24 dead, 377 injured, and 3,937 homes and businesses destroyed. Following a declaration of emergency by Oklahoma Governor Fallin and President Obama, OTA stepped forward to help clean up the aftermath of the storms and restore key transportation corridors, enabling emergency responders and volunteers to get to the scene of the devastation.

Given the widespread destruction,  restoration of transportation infrastructure was a critical need. With obstructions limiting access to the disaster area, OTA crews worked to clear inbound and outbound roadways, removing debris and hauling it to a local dump. OTA’s efforts made it possible for first responders, relief agencies, and volunteers to respond to the significant needs experienced by local residents and businesses, thereby contributing to a sense of hope and recovery for the communities that were devastated by the storms.

Under state protocols, the Turnpike Authority was deployed through the state Secretary of Transportation as part of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (ODEM). Emergency services were underwritten by reallocating hourly and overtime salaries from routine maintenance activities—all of which are funded through OTA toll revenues.

Results

The Oklahmoa Turnpike Authority focused its cleanup efforts on city streets and residential lots, using heavy equipment to help people who had no other way to quickly remove large volumes of debris.

OTA was onsite the morning after the May 20 tornado, with crews putting in long, hard days under tough conditions until their portion of the work was complete. OTA mobilized the human resources required to get the job done quickly and efficiently. When the situation called for more or different equipment, field managers had the authority and ability to buy what they needed. The Authority’s efforts earned praise from the Secretary of Transportation, ODEM, the affected communities, and local media.

Innovative Features

When the OTA crews were first deployed, they arrived with large front-end loaders. It quickly became clear that these large pieces of equipment were less than ideal for the confined space between city street curbs, so the Authority quickly brought in skid-steer loaders that were more suitable for the work that had to be done. When work crews realized that grapple attachments on the skid-steers would make recovery operations more efficient, the grapple attachments were purchased and used.

OTA’s response to the Moore tornados showed how tolling agencies can help citizens who are unable to help themselves in a time of emergency and devastation. By being good neighbors and answering the call, the Authority quickly cleared essential access routes and established closer bonds with its community. Working together, OTA crews from different turnpikes built their own sense of connection and achieved greater pride and team spirit.


Agency Contact
David Murdock
+1-405-425-7396


2014

Roads & Transport Authority (RTA)

Roads & Transport Authority (RTA)



Purpose and Objectives

Salik (“open” or “clear” in Arabic) is Dubai’s all-electronic, Open Road Tolling (ORT) system. The primary objective of the Salik ORT System Expansion was to reduce traffic congestion on the city’s main roads by adding new tolling points to encourage diversions to alternate routes. The project involved construction of three new electronic toll collection locations with six new gates, four on Ittihad Road and two on the Airport Tunnel corridor, in order to:

  • Minimize the use of right of ways by deploying new, free-flow tolling zones that do not require space for manual toll plazas; Operate efficiently and reliably, without interfering with the UAE’s GSM900 mobile phone system; Maximize vehicle image capture to support enforcement and protect revenue; Deploy all infrastructure above the roadway, with no in-road sensors or pavement modifications, and perform all maintenance above or beside the roadway, to eliminate any need for road closures and minimize traffic disruption at new tolling points.

Vital Stats

  • 14 ORT lanes (one zone in each direction at seven locations)
  • US$6.6 million budget, funded with internal resources
  • More than 1.4 million Salik accounts
  • Approximately 1.5 million transactions per day
  • 13 to 30% reduction in off-peak travel times on the Ittihad Road corridor
  • 43% reduction in off-peak traffic volume and 16 to 22% reduction in peak volume on the Airport Tunnel corridor
  • 43% reduction in off-peak traffic volume and 10% reduction in peak volume on the Ittihad Road corridor.

Results

Project designers minimized use of the highway right of way by placing all the system’s sensors on two over-road gantries, with processing and support equipment housed in a 5.0 x 2.5-meter (16 x 8-foot), air-conditioned roadside enclosure. The sensor array includes overhead scanners for vehicle positioning and classification, an RF antenna to capture transponder data, and video imaging for enforcement.

To introduce electronic toll collection, the Roads and Transport Authority made RFID transponders available to all highway users. The system must operate at temperatures up to 85°C (185°F) and speeds up to 140 kilometers (87 miles) per hour—and to accommodate extreme desert conditions, it must be powered without a battery.

The expanded system uses video capture to identify toll violators across up to seven lanes of fast, free-flowing traffic. Roadside processing systems have been optimized to manage the enormous volume of real-time imaging.

The system is reliable enough to allow for continuous, unattended operation, with high levels of redundancy and automatic failover and fault tolerance.

These success factors combined to provide Salik users with:

  • The world’s largest open-road, multi-lane, free flow tolling point
  • The world’s widest single-direction free flow tolling zone, at more than 44 meters (144 feet)
  • The world’s first 870 MHz toll system
  • The world’s first SMS customer notification system
  • A dedicated service team for fleets and special accounts
  • Complete over-the-road maintenance capability inside cladded gantries, so that road closures are never needed for routine maintenance.

The Authority has sold more than 620,000 Salik tags since the system opened in April, and processes 1.5 million transactions per day.


Agency Contact
Eng. Sofiene Jegham, Senior Manager - ITS Design & Implementation, ITS Department
+97 142 904969
sofiene.jegham@rta.ae

2014

Autostrade per l'Italia S.p.A

Autostrade per l'Italia S.p.A


Purpose and Objectives

In 2011, Autostrade per l'Italia S.p.A launched a three-year initiative to improve procedures and operational efficiencies in winter operations. Key performance indicators for the project included 90% reductions in snow-realted traffic gridlock and congestion, and in situations where the travelling public had insufficient information on highway conditions.

Efficiency targets included:

  • 20% reduction in the cost of salting
  • 50% reduction in the cost of winter maintenance teams
  • Reduced overall cost of winter operations, with no loss in effectiveness, by restructuring management and opening winter maintenance services to a wider pool of vendors.

The agency also engaged a professional weather forecasting service to provide continuous updates on potential storm conditions.

Vital Stats

  • €4 million budget, 90% of it to acquire and outfit new vehicles, funded with internal resources
  • 100% reduction in traffic gridlock due to snow, from 40.7 hours in 2010/2011 to 0 hours in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014
  • 93% reduction in congestion due to snow, from 240.4 hours in 2010/2011 to 17.6 hours in 2013/2014
  • 91% reduction in situations where customers had insufficient information, from 69 in 2010 to six in 2013
  • 20% reduction in salting costs
  • 75% reduction in winter maintenance costs.

Results

In 2013, Autostrade per l'Italia S.p.A received ISO 9001 certification for winter operations management. By that time, the EEWO Project had delivered new strategies for managing winter operations and heavy snowfalls, in-depth training for regional and headquarters staff, and a more efficient strategy for sourcing and deploying road salt, resulting in a 10% reduction in the number of vehicles required to service a 13% increase in lane kilometers.


Agency Contact
Enrico Valeri, Coordinator of Operating Network
evaleri@autostrade.it
+06-43-63-4781 


2000

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

Social Responsibility | 2014


Purpose and Objectives

On May 19 and 20, 2013, several tornados touched down in central Oklahoma, causing widespread destruction and devastation in several communities. A deadly EF5 tornado tore through heavily-populated Moore, OK, and also hit smaller communities north and east of Moore. The damage inflicted by the tornados included 24 dead, 377 injured, and 3,937 homes and businesses destroyed. Following a declaration of emergency by Oklahoma Governor Fallin and President Obama, OTA stepped forward to help clean up the aftermath of the storms and restore key transportation corridors, enabling emergency responders and volunteers to get to the scene of the devastation.

Given the widespread destruction,  restoration of transportation infrastructure was a critical need. With obstructions limiting access to the disaster area, OTA crews worked to clear inbound and outbound roadways, removing debris and hauling it to a local dump. OTA’s efforts made it possible for first responders, relief agencies, and volunteers to respond to the significant needs experienced by local residents and businesses, thereby contributing to a sense of hope and recovery for the communities that were devastated by the storms.

Under state protocols, the Turnpike Authority was deployed through the state Secretary of Transportation as part of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (ODEM). Emergency services were underwritten by reallocating hourly and overtime salaries from routine maintenance activities—all of which are funded through OTA toll revenues.

Results

The Oklahmoa Turnpike Authority focused its cleanup efforts on city streets and residential lots, using heavy equipment to help people who had no other way to quickly remove large volumes of debris.

OTA was onsite the morning after the May 20 tornado, with crews putting in long, hard days under tough conditions until their portion of the work was complete. OTA mobilized the human resources required to get the job done quickly and efficiently. When the situation called for more or different equipment, field managers had the authority and ability to buy what they needed. The Authority’s efforts earned praise from the Secretary of Transportation, ODEM, the affected communities, and local media.

Innovative Features

When the OTA crews were first deployed, they arrived with large front-end loaders. It quickly became clear that these large pieces of equipment were less than ideal for the confined space between city street curbs, so the Authority quickly brought in skid-steer loaders that were more suitable for the work that had to be done. When work crews realized that grapple attachments on the skid-steers would make recovery operations more efficient, the grapple attachments were purchased and used.

OTA’s response to the Moore tornados showed how tolling agencies can help citizens who are unable to help themselves in a time of emergency and devastation. By being good neighbors and answering the call, the Authority quickly cleared essential access routes and established closer bonds with its community. Working together, OTA crews from different turnpikes built their own sense of connection and achieved greater pride and team spirit.


Agency Contact
David Murdock
+1-405-425-7396


2015

Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau

The Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau introduced its electronic, distance-based toll collection system to increase fairness and equity across the highway network, boost operational efficiency, streamline traffic flow through variable pricing, and deliver superior accuracy. The agency introduced manual and electronic tolling in February 2006, followed by an eTag system in May 2012, and now averages 14 million transactions per day with a tolling accuracy rate of 99.97% and detection accuracy of 99.9%, the world’s highest. The new system consists of 319 single gantries that feature a modular design for rapid deployment. It took only 10 months to install all the gantries, with no on-the-job accidents or loss in quality.

The Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau also won the 2015 President's Award.

2015

Illinois Tollway

In 2012, the Illinois Tollway entered a partnership with The Chicago Lighthouse to manage a new advanced Customer Service Call Center and provide jobs for members of underserved communities, people with disabilities and military veterans. The new call center opened in October 2013 and today provides jobs for 124 employees from underserved communities, including 66 people with disabilities and 55 military veterans. The center, which features numerous accommodations for employees who use wheelchairs or are visually impaired, handles 8,000 to 10,000 customer calls per day and processes 27,000 toll and violation payments per month. For its partnership with The Chicago Lighthouse, the Illinois Tollway was named 2015 Agency of the Year by the state’s Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities.

2015

Transurban


Transurban and the Virginia Department of Transportation launched the 495 Express Lanes in November 2012 to reduce congestion and offer drivers more choices. The 14 miles of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in Northern Virginia, the product of a public-private partnership, introduced new traffic patterns, a new E-ZPass® transponder, and new rules of the road along one of the country’s busiest and most technologically advanced highway corridors.

A project budget of nearly $2 billion, made possible through an innovative combination of public funding, federal financing, and private partnerships, triggered the replacement of more than $260 million worth of aging infrastructure and culminated in the most significant package of highway improvements the region had seen in a generation. The project included complete reconstruction of 58 interchange bridges and overpasses, many of them including new bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways, as well as upgrades to 12 key interchanges and new access points at Merrifield and Tysons Corner, two of the region’s most heavily-travelled shopping and employment destinations.

2015

New Jersey Turnpike Authority

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority introduced its traffic permitting and lane closure application to more efficiently manage the more than 850 weekly lane closure requests it receives. The electronic system replaces the previous paper-based method of collecting, resolving, and communicating requests and managing the associated traffic permits. The new operations infrastructure limits the authority’s liability, provides speedy response and approvals to contractors and, most important, delivers timely, accurate lane closure information to the travelling public.

2015

Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau

Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau


The Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau introduced its electronic, distance-based toll collection system to increase fairness and equity across the highway network, boost operational efficiency, streamline traffic flow through variable pricing, and deliver superior accuracy. The agency introduced manual and electronic tolling in February 2006, followed by an eTag system in May 2012, and now averages 14 million transactions per day with a tolling accuracy rate of 99.97% and detection accuracy of 99.9%, the world’s highest. The new system consists of 319 single gantries that feature a modular design for rapid deployment. It took only 10 months to install all the gantries, with no on-the-job accidents or loss in quality. A brief presentation and video were shown during the ceremony, held in Dublin Irleand on August 31. 

View Slides

View Project Video (this link will direct you to YouTube)

2015

ETAN Industries

ETAN Industries delivered FastLane—The Financial Accountability Solution for Tolling in 2013, under an emergency procurement with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX). The agency needed timely access to a complete toll-by-plate account management system, with clear financial accountability in the billing and collection process. The $17 million project delivered flexible, reliable, accurate billing, consistent, accurate reconciliation of all financial accounts, full in-house access to current operational and financial data, and superior customer service, allowing MDX to concentrate on its core expertise—building, operating, and maintaining roadways.

IBTTA’s Toll Excellence Awards recognize the very best the international tolling industry has to offer. Each year, we celebrate IBTTA member toll agencies whose creative, innovative, positive programs set a new standard of excellence. In 2015, a new award has been created to recognize the contributions made by the private sector. By providing wide recognition for a job well done, the Toll Excellence Awards speed up the transmission of new ideas and emerging practices throughout the industry.  

2016

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise

When Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise opened the I-4 Connector in Tampa Bay on January 6, 2014, it marked a milestone in the effort to reduce local congestion in the face of surging economic growth and increased truck traffic from the region’s busy port. The limited-access, all-electronic toll road links Interstate 4 and State Road 618 (the Selmon Expressway), providing direct access to the port with one-of-a-kind truck-only lanes. Traffic along the I-4 Connector has more than doubled in 2½ years, from 22,000 vehicles per day in 2014 to 48,000 today, demonstrating how effectively the project has eased congestion while removing an estimated 3,400 trucks per day from the streets of Ybor City, one of only two National Historic Districts in Florida. The diversion has reduced accidents on two key city streets by nearly 60 percent, and the availability of a free-flow, high-speed route means trucks travelling from I-4 to I-75 won’t hit a red light until they get to Canada. The project was funded by federal, state, and provincial governments, with essential support from $80 million in Turnpike revenue bonds. In FY 2015, project revenue of $8.8 million greatly exceeded the initial forecast of $6.1 million.

View Video

2016

North Carolina Turnpike Authority

After the North Carolina Turnpike Authority(NCTA) achieved toll interoperability with  Florida’s SunPass® in July 2013 and Georgia’s Peach Pass® in November 2014, its next step was to promote NC Quick Pass® transponder ownership as an opportunity for customers to pay lower toll rates across the U.S. east coast. NCTA’s outreach campaign offered users a more convenient customer experience, with quicker, more reliable mobility than they would achieve without a transponder. In April 2015, the Authority formed a promotional partnership with the Durham Bulls—a local baseball team, and the most popular sports franchise in the North Carolina Triangle—to build customer and brand awareness. Much of the campaign focused on reaching Bill by Mail customers through a table presence at 11 Bulls games between April and August, combined with print advertising and email marketing, in an effort to promote transponder use. In June NCTA and NC Quick Pass® began distributing 200,000 promotional inserts with paper invoices mailed to North Carolina residents. The insert offered users savings of up to 35 percent, plus the ability to pay their tolls effortlessly in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and all states in the E-ZPass® Group.

2016

Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency

The Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) is looking forward to a 90 to 95 percent reduction in vehicle-animal collisions along a six-mile stretch of the State Route 241 Toll Road in Orange County, California, after installing safety fencing and new wildlife undercrossings for cougars, coyotes, bobcats and deer. The safety fence ranges from 10 to 12 feet in height and features an 18-inch “outrigger” to prevent wildlife from climbing over. It is buried 24 inches to prevent animals from digging under, and is placed in close proximity to the roadway shoulder to minimize native habitat loss. For any animals that still find their way onto the roadway, the systems include jump-out ramps at half-mile intervals as an escape route back to open space. Working with the University of California- Davis Wildlife Health Center and the UC-Davis Information Center for the Environment, F/ECTA conducted a two-year field evaluation of undercrossings that were already in place, then identified enhancements that would improve wildlife connectivity throughout the area. The assessment involved GPS tracking of cougar movements throughout the Santa Ana Mountain Range, use of cameras to track wildlife use of existing undercrossings and consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Transportation, among other stakeholders.

2016

Harris County Toll Road Authority

The Harris County Toll Road Authority introduced its Prohibited Vehicle/Rapid Alert System (RAS) as a spin-off project after replacing its legacy toll enforcement infrastructure. The original system upgrade included development and/or augmentation of software applications that generate an alert directly to law enforcement whenever a vehicle from a list of top 500 prohibited vehicles passes through a tolling gantry. For years, HCTRA knew the standard toll enforcement strategy of having deputies watch out for violators was becoming less effective. The authority had introduced video tolling for large corporate accounts, and allows customers to temporarily add vehicles to existing accounts without obtaining a transponder. The system also accommodates non-revenue accounts for disabled veterans and access for unmarked emergency vehicles. The added feature makes it feasible for a deputy to locate and stop a habitual violator to issue a citation. It also targets violators who try to avoid paying their outstanding HCTRA tolls and continue using the tollway by obtaining a valid toll transponder from another regional tolling agency.

2016

Central Florida Expressway Authority

Wrong-way driving (WWD) is an immediate, urgent hazard on any roadway, whenever and wherever it occurs. That’s why it was a significant development when the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) became the first agency to pilot Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) as a WWD countermeasure. CFX initially set out to develop a better understanding of issues related to wrongway driving, as a first step in deploying systems to minimize or mitigate the problem. Its research focused on equipping Wrong-Way signs with RRFBs, radar or laser detection, and cameras to detect, deter and prevent wrong-way drivers from using exit ramps to enter the toll road mainline. Its evaluation of RRFBs involved testing on five ramps along the roadway network, one on State Road 528 and four on State Road 408.

2016

CDM Smith

CDM Smith developed its National Interstate Tolling Analysis Tool (NITAT) for the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as part of a wider interstate tolling study. This computer traffic model, the only one of its kind, is a sketch-level planning resource for modelling potential traffic and revenue impacts of tolling segments of the toll-free interstate system that are currently toll-free. NITAT allows users with no modelling background to run scenarios  for the entire interstate system, for 48 individual states and for most other major highways and tolled facilities. It disaggregates more than 3,000 counties and urban areas across the United States into nearly 7,500 traffic zones and incorporates National Bridge Inventory data for major bridges on the interstate system. The model can compare different options for toll rates, deliver separate analyses for car and truck impacts, estimate capital and operating costs associated with toll collection, and assess impacts on network performance, safety and fuel consumption. One model run found that, if all-electronic tolls in the range of $0.04 per mile for cars and $0.10 per mile for trucks were added to the entire non-tolled interstate system, average annual revenue would exceed $46 billion in 2011 dollars.

2016

North Carolina Turnpike Authority

After the North Carolina Turnpike Authority(NCTA) achieved toll interoperability with  Florida’s SunPass® in July 2013 and Georgia’s Peach Pass® in November 2014, its next step was to promote NC Quick Pass® transponder ownership as an opportunity for customers to pay lower toll rates across the U.S. east coast. NCTA’s outreach campaign offered users a more convenient customer experience, with quicker, more reliable mobility than they would achieve without a transponder. In April 2015, the Authority formed a promotional partnership with the Durham Bulls—a local baseball team, and the most popular sports franchise in the North Carolina Triangle—to build customer and brand awareness. Much of the campaign focused on reaching Bill by Mail customers through a table presence at 11 Bulls games between April and August, combined with print advertising and email marketing, in an effort to promote transponder use. In June NCTA and NC Quick Pass® began distributing 200,000 promotional inserts with paper invoices mailed to North Carolina residents. The insert offered users savings of up to 35 percent, plus the ability to pay their tolls effortlessly in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and all states in the E-ZPass® Group.

2017

ITR Concession Company LLC

The ITR Concession Company (ITRCC) receives the Administration and Finance Award for its innovative methods of procuring and contracting the 80/90 PUSH project along the Indiana Toll Road. The Indiana Toll Road runs 157 miles east-west across the entire state of Indiana, from the Illinois to Ohio state lines. 80/90 PUSH is massive in scope and includes upgrading 292 lane miles (73 linear miles), 9 interchanges, and 53 bridges, and installing a fiber optic backbone along the corridor as a step to implementing an Intelligent Transportation System. With a $220 million budget it is the largest investment in the Indiana Toll Road since its initial construction in 1956.

80/90 PUSH incorporated an aggressive procurement and delivery schedule to deliver the project swiftly and with minimal travel disruptions. To meet deadlines and minimize costs ITRCC utilized an innovative blend of Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) and Design-Build project delivery strategies. ITRCC involved contractors early in the project, ran concurrent design processes, and remained committed to transparency and communication with prospective partners. ECI is typically performed with one contracted design team, but by offering $250,000 to the unsuccessful team ITRCC kept multiple parties involved and maintained competitive pricing tension.

Considering the scope of investment in 80/90 PUSH, ITRCC maintained a strong contractual position throughout the project and implemented specific penalties for delays, traffic queues, and cost overruns. ITRCC mitigated future risks by negotiating an extended 7-year warranty thus assuring a well maintained, high quality product. Today 80/90 PUSH is ahead of schedule and under budget. Over 100,000 working hours have been logged without a single lost time injury. The safety, speed, and cost effectiveness of the project reflects the exemplary partnering and procurement strategies demonstrated by ITRCC.

2017

State Road and Tollway Authority

In 2014, the state of Georgia integrated the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) and the George Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) as a means to meet evolving demands for mobility through shared infrastructure, operations, and costs. SRTA receives the Customer Service & Marketing Outreach Award fo the Commuter Credits Program, an innovative initiative from the newly integrated agency. Commuter Credits are intended to help commuters think about their transportation in a more integrated way, reduce congestion along the heavily traveled I-85, and reduce SOV usage of Georgia’s Express Lanes during peak hours. The pilot program included three components:

Shift Commute – 243 existing Peach Pass users were offered weekly $3 toll credits for reducing their weekly peak period commutes from 4+ trips to 3 or fewer; Start a Carpool – SRTA attracted carpools to the express lanes by offering daily $3 toll credits to carpools with at least one Peach Pass user; Ride Transit – SRTA offered Peach Pass users daily $2 toll credits for taking the GRTA Xpress bus routes during peak periods.

Over the course of the pilot program 210 commuters took 4,500 trips using Ride Transit. Through Shift Commute, drivers moved almost 500 trips to off-peak periods or to another mode of transit. A vast majority of users said they found both programs easy to understand and would likely continue to use them in the future. SRTA plans to continue Ride Transit and Shift Commute on a permanent basis beginning in 2018.

Commuter Credits’ positive effects and tremendous user feedback demonstrate SRTA’s exemplary commitment to community outreach and engagement. The Community Credits Program has garnered global recognition for successfully highlighting the first steps agencies can take to serve users’ increasing demands for efficiency through a unified transportation system.

2017

North Texas Tollway Authority

Texting and driving has quickly become one of America’s leading causes of roadway accidents, injuries, and fatalities. At any given moment roughly 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while operating their car. North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) receives the Social Responsibility Award for its campaign to spread the dangers of driving “intexticated” as part of the nationwide Red Thumbs Movement.

Red Thumbs is an old-school solution to a 21st century problem. The movement aims to educate drivers about the dangers of texting and driving, and encourages them to mark a small portion of their thumbs red as a reminder to put down their phones behind the wheel. As part of the campaign NTTA distributed 95,000 red thumb straps emblazoned with the NTTA logo and the phrase “W8 2 TXT”.

The creative efforts of NTTA resulted in extensive regional coverage of the program through traditional media outlets, social media engagement, and nearly two dozen community partners including municipalities, other transportation agencies, and various local businesses. The agency distributed video shorts over social media and changed electronic signs along roadways to alert drivers to the campaign. Plano Presbyterian Hospital invited NTTA to offer educational courses on safety to local residents, businesses, government officials, police officers, and teenage drivers to help make the roads of North Texas as safe as they can be.

Because Texas is one of four states without a statewide ban on texting and driving, the campaign was critical to ensuring the safety of Texas roads. The result was a fun and memorable movement benefiting NTTA and their community partners while, most importantly, saving lives and making Texas a safer place to drive.

2017

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission receives the Technology Award for 511PAConnect, a new, trapped-traveler emergency communications tool that allows incident response teams to communicate via automated phone or text message directly with motorists who are trapped in a roadway backup. Extreme weather events are unpredictable, unavoidable, and can wreak havoc on travelers through road closures or by trapping them between exits. In 2016, Winter Storm Jonas stranded hundreds of travelers along a remote mountainous stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In emergency situations drivers will turn to any available source for news and updates, often including social media. 

This patchwork collection of news sources leads to misinformation, buried emergency communications, and overwhelmed agencies scrambling to monitor too many platforms at once. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) realized the need for unplanned, instantaneous, two-way communications for emergency situations.

511PAConnect delivers timely and accurate information to ALL effected travelers without prior registration or awareness of the program. When PTC opens an emergency event, an alert is immediately sent to all cell phones in the impact area. By following instructions on their phones, drivers select their preferred means of communication and can communicate questions or concerns directly with PTC. The tool asks for situational information (type of car, number of passengers, etc.) and allows users to share their location so PTC, PennDOT, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency can understand the scope of the emergency and quickly shape their response.

511PAConnect is a life saving tool created with existing technology familiar to the public and agency staff. In its first year of operation, it has proven tremendously successful by meeting and exceeding agency goals and expectations. During the first five emergency events, non-emergency 911 calls decreased, customers engaged with the tool and responded positively (including “thank you” texts), and a trapped queue was avoided thanks to a precautionary alert. 

2017

Roads & Transport Authority, Dubai

The Road & Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai receives the Toll Operations, Engineering and Maintenance Award for “Salik Toll System Expansion,” which recognizes RTA’s effort to revolutionize their Smart Salik app and online self-service system.

Project goals included: upgrading the Interactive Voice Response phone system – alleviating stress on the call center; revamping the website and Smart Salik app interface; a recharge by mobile and plate feature, thereby removing the frustration of forgotten PINs; a user portal with real time road and account information including pending and unpaid tolls; better integration across platforms and with smart device features such as fingerprint login on the app, back-end stability improvements, and a marketing campaign to educate customers on the changes.

Perhaps most impressive is RTA’s commitment to flexibility both now and in the future. Accounts can be recharged with cash at over 9,000 locations across Dubai, including at ATMs and through vouchers redeemed via SMS, the Smart Salik app, and the website. The redesigned back-end of the Salik network allows for advanced data analysis of user trends so RTA can stay ahead of the curve and remain proactive in meeting the needs of customers for years to come.

Results of the redesigned system are excellent across the board. Operational costs have fallen, call center calls have decreased 30%. Calls to retrieve forgotten PINs have almost been halved. Self-service transactions exceed 90 percent, well beyond the 80 percent government goal. Mobile adoption exceeds the 25 percent goal. In line with the Dubai Government’s Happiness strategy – to make Dubai the happiest city on earth –  the system’s happiness rating has risen from 73.2% to 93.2% following the launch of the renovated app and website.

2017

Raytheon

When the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) decided to convert the entirety of its toll road network to All Electronic Tolling, the project was sure to be a massive undertaking. MassDOT contracted Raytheon for a Design-Build-Maintain effort to deliver the new network of 32 AET toll zones on a tight deadline before the 2016 holiday season.  Raytheon receives the Private Sector Innovation Award for its implementation of MassDOT All Electronic Tolling.

Three months into the project, MassDOT issued a change order to change from Janus (E-ZPass) Readers to Multi-Protocol Readers (MPRs) in support of nationwide interoperability efforts. The change in technology required significant redesigns of gantries and wiring, and was expected to delay the project three months.

Raytheon remained committed to the original deadlines and responded to the change with an innovative accelerated construction schedule: gantry construction was performed concurrently instead of sequentially. Overhead cross members – with tolling technology attached – were assembled off-site as the vertical supports, power, and communications infrastructure were put in place along the road.

MassDOT anticipated 2-4 consecutive nights of road closures at each toll zone to construct the overhead components. Building the cross members off-site and delivering them to the toll zone shortened lane closures to six hours per zone. Traffic was fully stopped for only 15 minutes. This innovative process cut a remarkable 90 days from the construction schedule and completely negated the anticipated MPR delays. The new AET network went live on its original schedule in October 2016, 21 days before Thanksgiving.

The project’s quality has had an immense measurable impact on drivers. Not only did Raytheon’s innovative schedule minimize travel disruptions, converting to AET has shaved 12 minutes in each direction off the commute to Boston from suburbs in Western Massachusetts. Spread over the average 132,000 daily commuters, the AET network saves drivers 264,000 hours every week.

2018

North Carolina Turnpike Authority

Overview

In September of 2017, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) became the first agency in the nation to read all three transponder protocols being considered for national interoperability, in a tolling-environment. Specifically, the NCTA successfully replaced the legacy reader technology on 80 lanes of the Triangle Expressway with tri-protocol reader technology. The implementation of new reader equipment was completed under live traffic, without interruption to toll collection activities, and minimizing any impact to NC Quick Pass customers. In addition to directly supporting IBTTA and the Moving Ahead Progress in the 21st Century Act's (P.L. 112-141), (MAP-21) efforts for nationwide interoperability on electronic toll collections programs, the implementation allowed the NCTA to introduce free 6C transponders and reduced cost E-ZPass interoperable transponders to its customers.

Objectives

With two new toll projects scheduled to open within 18 months, the NCTA began investigating options to reach a new customer base by offering low cost transponder options and avoiding disruption to existing customers by preventing a transponder recall. The NCTA also wanted to prepare for the future of national interoperability by implementing cutting edge technology capable of reading all three candidate protocols, establishing the NCTA's path forward for technology to be utilized on all future toll facilities in North Carolina. In conjunction with the tri-protocol reader technology, the NCTA procured new, low cost 6C transponders that are offered to NC Quick Pass customers for free. The NCTA also procured lower cost TDM transponders, providing for the sale of these transponders at a lower price point. Considering the new transponders and the tri-protocol reader technology, the established objectives were mutually beneficial for the NCTA and its NC Quick Pass customers. The top priority was to offer free/lower cost transponders, which also saves customers 35% off tolls in North Carolina. Other goals included increasing transponder usage on the Triangle Expressway and converting government, fleet and first responder users to transponder accounts (previously registered license plate account customers).

Results

Since go-live in September 2017, the tri-protocol reader implementation and lower cost transponders have positively affected both the NCTA and its NC Quick Pass customers. The decrease in unit pricing for the three current transponder options averaged nearly 70%, and total savings passed along to NC Quick Pass customers have totaled nearly $600,000 over the past eight months. More specifically, the NCTA achieved a primary goal of offering a free transponder to customers. Between January 2012 and August of 2017, the NCTA sold approximately 4,400 NC Quick Pass transponders per month. For the eight months since offering lower cost transponders, the NCTA has sold approximately 8,900 transponders per month, more than doubling the previous average. In addition, the NCTA has verified a notable rise in transponder-based transactions on weekdays before and after the implementation (59% and 63% respectively), thus reducing the costs associated the postpaid (license-plate based) billing program. Further, for the first time in NCTA's history, overall transponder-based transactions exceeded 60% for an entire quarter (January-March 2018).

The NCTA continues to put customers first and worked diligently to utilize state-of-the-art technology in the tolling industry. By procuring new transponder offerings and tri-protocol reader technology, the NCTA was able to immediately pass on the cost savings to its customers and has identified and incorporated operational efficiencies accordingly. In addition, all toll roads in North Carolina will be equipped to read the three transponder protocols being considered for national interoperability. In addition, the NCTA has demonstrated that tri-protocol technology can work in a tolling environment, with accurate transponder reads at high speeds, and without impacting the customer experience, revenue, or interoperable partnerships. By taking the risk of being the first agency to install this technology, the NCTA has helped reduce the risk to fellow agencies considering similar implementations.

The NCTA has been at the leading edge of implementing new toll collection technologies and is the first agency in the United States to read the three transponder protocols in a tolling environment being considered for national interoperability.

2018

E-470 Public Highway Authority

Overview

This program was intended to improve the overall effectiveness of Colorado's temporary license plates by creating a standardized tag design, specifications for placement of the tag on the vehicle and a database for vehicle owner identification.

Objectives

Three main objectives were to reduce leakage (lost revenue) resulting from inability to read temporary tags in the rear window due to misplaced tags, damaged/unreadable tags, tinted windows, fraud, etc.; increase safety measures for law enforcement by making the temporary license plate easier to identify at a distance, and by creating a database for vehicle identification and reduce the ability to counterfeit the temporary license permits/tags.

Results

For the Customer

The new standardized process helped eliminate customer confusion surrounding temporary tags. The new database is streamlined and provides the Authority more accurate address information meaning the customer receives a bill in a timely manner.

For the Authority

The initiative reduced the gross revenue lost due to the inability to read the paper tags by $6.7M when comparing the six quarters before the program to the six quarters after implementation of the newly designed tags and the streamlined database that allowed for improved identification of the registered owner of the vehicle.

For the Community

Local law enforcement agencies are now able to read the plate and complete a plate lookup before approaching the vehicle, increasing officer safety. Auto dealers received an updated, cloud-based vehicle registration and temporary license plate application that improved customer service at the time of vehicle sale. In addition, the new temporary tags provide a streamlined design and set requirements for the mounting of the tag on the vehicle.

For the Government

The Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles received a cloud-based temporary registration permits application that was available to county clerks and DMV offices that provided an improved searchable database integrated with the permanent license plate and registration database. This improved efficiencies and enhanced effectiveness.

This initiative is now being considered for use in Texas by the Texas DMV and the Texas Auto Dealers Association. In addition, this Colorado Legislative effort was used to model a similar temporary license plate program by the California DMV. This program has been used as a model within the toll industry because it is a true testament to what teamwork and collaboration can mean for a statewide initiative aimed at improving safety and enhancing business efficiencies. In the end, this program has benefited everyone from toll authorities to law enforcement agencies to government entities to customers. It demonstrated that a local toll authority (Colorado political subdivision), was able to partner with several state agencies, state and local law enforcement agencies, statewide local governments (64 county clerks) and private businesses (Colorado's auto dealers) in order to persuade the Colorado State Legislature to pass legislation, which in turn improved the business processes for all key stakeholders. In addition, the local toll authority (E-470), through a one-time grant, was able to spare taxpayers the cost of this project.

2018

Halifax Harbour Bridges

Overview

Halifax Harbour Bridges is a provincial Crown corporation that manages and operates the Macdonald and MacKay Bridges in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The two tolled suspension bridges join Halifax and Dartmouth, with combined annual crossings of approximately 33 million. The Macdonald Bridge accounts for approximately 40 percent of the region’s daily commuter traffic, and its sidewalk and bike lane provide the only active transportation route across the Halifax Harbour. The Big Lift was HHB’s largest capital project since the MacKay Bridge opened in 1970, extending the life of the Macdonald Bridge by at least 75 years and reducing maintenance costs. Construction began in March 2015 and concludes in 2018.

The Macdonald Bridge was operating safely after 63 years in service, but the deck was wearing out. The Big Lift replaced the infrastructure on the suspended spans of the bridge including the road deck, floor beams, stiffening trusses and suspender ropes on the suspended spans of the Macdonald Bridge. The $205-million project budget was covered by a provincial government loan that will be repaid entirely with toll revenue. To manage a unique, tremendously complex, and disruptive project, HHB orchestrated the removal and replacement of 46 deck segments while keeping the bridge open to traffic most of the time. The work was completed with overnight and weekend bridge closures over a two-year period. It was only the second time in the world that suspended spans of a suspension bridge have been replaced while keeping the facility in operation. The HHB communications team of two developed a comprehensive strategy to educate and engage all stakeholders.

Objectives

To ensure Stakeholders are educated about the project and how it will impact them and for affected stakeholders to believe their perspective has been taken into consideration during the planning phase of the project. The public understands this project is necessary to extend the life of the Macdonald Bridge and for the long term safety of the traveling public.

Results

The Big Lift needed to be done to extend the life of the bridge, not to add capacity. This made communications more difficult because customers were not gaining anything other than a safer bridge. The communications motto of the project was to “show don’t tell” by sharing stories, videos and photos so people could understand the engineering wonder that this was and to communicate early and often the reality of the project: it would be disruptive but necessary to extend the life of the bridge. A final survey to see if the objectives were accomplished will be completed in the latter part of 2018. The overall sentiment from the community is that the project wasn’t as disruptive as initially anticipated and that it was a fascinating project to watch unfold. This project provided an opportunity to accomplish an overall communications goal for HHB which is to be seen as the safe, efficient, forward-thinking manager of Halifax's key transportation infrastructure assets.

2018

Virginia Department of Transportation

Overview

Toll Relief, the first program of its kind in the United States, provides meaningful financial relief to qualified residents who travel the Elizabeth River Tunnels in Virginia eight times or more a month and have a personal, annual income of $30,000 or less. The relief is the equivalent to as much as a 57 percent reduction in tolls. Transportation equity for those most in need has always been a challenge. With the Commonwealth planning more tolling projects, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) committed to build public awareness of the role tolling plays in delivering funding for much-needed highway improvements, while simultaneously ensuring equity for individuals in lower socio-economic brackets. In addition to implementing an aggressive outreach program to educate the public around the need for and benefits of tolling projects, VDOT introduced Toll Relief to assist citizens facing the biggest financial impacts from tolls. In October 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Norfolk and Portsmouth residents would receive help paying tolls on the Elizabeth River Tunnels through a new Toll Relief program. The operators of the Elizabeth River Tunnels are contributing $5.5 million over 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls on those individuals most financially stressed. The agreement is part of a broader deal to reduce the financial impact of major construction improvements for motorists in Hampton Roads.

Objectives

The program was designed to provide meaningful financial relief to the most economically challenged residents of the Portsmouth/Norfolk region (annual household income < $30K) that utilize the ERC more than 8 times per month. These tunnels are the only "timely" route between the two cities and had not previously been tolled. This program allowed working citizens from lower socioeconomic households to continue using their primary route to work with a reduction in the tolls therefore, reinventing equity in tolling and mobility for the Hampton Roads area.

Results

This program greatly reduced the concerns of stakeholders in the region regarding equity issues for financially distressed residents utilizing the newly tolled tunnels between Portsmouth and Norfolk. By implementing a local stakeholder steering committee and mounting an aggressive communications strategy, consensus was gained and support established for the buy-in of the Toll Relief program. Consequently, education around tolling increased and acceptance of tolling as a funding source grew in acceptance for the Hampton Roads area. By deploying a program which introduced "equity" into the tolling conversation, the roll out of subsequent tolled projects has met less resistance in this region. The most demonstrable result of the program was the number, over 2000, of participants/customers enrolled in the program.

In its first year in 2017, Toll Relief delivered $458,000 in financial relief to 2,094 residents. Enrollment for 2018 is over 3,000.

2018

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise

Overview

One of the primary risks of converting to an All Electronic Tolling (AET) system is the loss of revenue. If the technology system that supports the toll collection system in any way fails to perform at peak levels, it may prevent a toll agency from collecting all revenues due from its customers. In other words, problems on the front end of the system can cause collection problems in the back office. The objective of Florida's Turnpike is to reduce, to the maximum extent possible, any uncollected revenue. In November 2005, Florida's Turnpike opened the SunWatch Operations Center. In fact, the SunWatch Operations Center won the IBTTA Toll Excellence Award in the Operations Category in 2008. SunWatch was a first in the toll industry, providing 24/7 monitoring of the toll collection system with the ability to detect and diagnose problems remotely, often making repairs from the SunWatch Center. While SunWatch is still operating today and continues to have enhancements for real-time monitoring and response, the SLAM Program takes the next step in revenue assurance by examining the lane and back office systems to detect degraded modes of operation. The analogy to SunWatch is going to the doctor as a result of an acute injury, like a broken leg – you detect the problem and resolve it; while the analogy to SLAM is going to get an in-depth annual blood analysis to detect any potentials problems and then taking corrective action, such as starting a vitamin regiment, to ensure your body is functioning optimally.

Objectives

The primary objective of the Turnpike's SLAM Program was to improve the Turnpike's revenue collection efficiency. The Turnpike has many established performance metrics which are monitored by a government oversight body, the Florida Transportation Commission. Revenue performance is a major factor in the evaluation for the Commission and to Bond Rating Agencies. Although several individuals at the Turnpike were engaged in analyzing system performance, there was not a concerted or coordinated effort. The SLAM TEAM developed the program and implemented on a Turnpike-wide basis with a team of professionals from diverse backgrounds including finance, network communications, toll lane systems and computer network and hardware expertise.

Results

The results of the SLAM Program have been outstanding. The Turnpike estimates that the team efforts have resulted in over $10 million in collected revenues and operational cost savings per year over the past three years, for a total savings in excess of $30M. This has been accomplished through a combination of detecting degraded equipment; lane system improvements and implementing video toll processing improvements. The application of performance metrics in equipment and system performance in a coordinated and documented way is innovative and has improved the bottom-line for Florida's Turnpike.

SLAM's track record of precise findings, detailed reports, and successful recommendations for improvements has quickly gained respect within the agency and made them the "go-to" team for any problem requiring in-depth analysis. In the three years of operation, they have logged and closed over 250 investigative issues, including 12 complex issues that included system upgrades and gained the agency $14M in revenue through a combination of increased toll revenue and decreased operations costs.

2018

emovis

Overview

The New Mersey Gateway Bridge is an innovative response to a seemingly impossible situation faced by many local transport authorities around the world. Congestion on the aging local bridge had reached dangerous levels, with traffic volumes that risked community access to essential services on either side of the River Mersey. With no government funding available, the community knew it would never have the funds to complete the project unassisted. The Silver Jubilee Bridge over the River Mersey, built in 1961, constitutes a vital link for the residents of the Halton borough. Fifty-five years later, the bridge was approaching 10 times its intended traffic capacity, with daily peaks of up to 85,000 users in late 2017. The community wanted a second bridge across the River Mersey. But funding from the national government was denied due to scarce public funding resources.

With the responsibility pushed back to the borough council, it fell to a community of 125,000, with an annual budget of just over $130 million, to fund a $800 billion infrastructure project. To get the mobility it needed, the community accepted tolling on the existing bridge as well as the new one, after traffic modeling indicated that revenue from the new structure alone would not cover capital and operating costs. Given a choice between tolling both bridges or having no new bridge at all, the borough council overwhelmingly supported the project, as did local businesses and most residents. Halton needed an experienced toll service provider that could capture and channel the community’s vision. emovis met that challenge with an innovative tolling solution that earned community support, while delivering the revenues the borough needed to meet its contractual obligations.

Objectives

The primary objective of the New Mersey Gateway was to relieve relentless congestion on a local network where simply expanding the existing bridge would not have been sufficient. The new kilometer-long, cable-stayed bridge has three lanes in each direction, with a toll-free bypass for local traffic in Runcorn town center. The key operating principles for the project included:

Accountability 

A 100% in-house customer care service, including telephone and walk-in centers, allows the operator to constantly improve customer satisfaction while adjusting to rapidly changing consumer behaviors, particularly on the part of the Millennial generation.

Trust and Transparency

An innovative, thermal-based traffic auditing system provides local authorities with independent confirmation that all toll revenue is duly collected and properly transferred to them.

Freedom

A flexible tolling solution offers users a menu of options, including RFID sticker tags, a pay-by-plate option, and microwave tags.

The bridge opened on October 14, 2017 and quickly became a preferred route for more than 70,000 users per day. The project also funded the refurbishment of the original Silver Jubilee Bridge, while keeping that historic structure in public hands. The refurbishment included conversion of one lane into a toll-free pedestrian and bicycle route that offers residents a safer, more sustainable option for crossing the river. The system is efficient enough that local residents can buy unlimited access to both bridges for a modest annual fee, with free access for users with disabilities.

Results

The project delivers stable, long-term toll revenue of about $70 million annually that has enabled a small borough council to reduce traffic congestion and plan for future population growth. Users save as much as an hour or more on their regular commutes. Public acceptance of the project was overwhelming, with more than 85% of potential local users pre-registered by the time the new bridge opened.

  • The toll operator emphasizes excellence and continuous improvement in customer service, with 230 verification and administrative staff in its call center and walk-in facilities available to local users.
  • Prior to launch, the project team established MerseyFlow as a strong, widely-recognized brand that supported an aggressive and successful pre-marketing strategy.
  • A competitive public-private partnership (PPP) tendering process produced a £250-million cost saving compared to the original engineering estimate.
  • Construction emphasized local hiring, with more than 5,000 employees devoting five million person-hours to engineering and construction.

2019

Transurban North America

 

   Transurban will deliver the eight-mile 395 Express Lanes project as part of its long-standing partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to reduce traffic congestion in one of the world's 20 most congested cities. Transurban operates the 495 and 95 Express Lanes – a 45-mile network of dynamic, managed toll lanes that are serving over 6 million customers. Transurban will finance, develop, construct, operate and maintain the Express Lanes extension through the densely travelled 395 corridor connecting Springfield, Virginia and Washington, DC. The financing of the 395 Express Lanes involved multiple parties working together including Transurban North America, the Virginia Resources Authority, the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority and the VDOT Office of P3s. The process also included Commonwealth Transportation Board approval. Transurban created a unified credit that improved on the operational success of the 95 Segment to support the Series 2017 Bonds and resulted in a one-notch credit upgrade to BBB from both S&P and Fitch. The transaction received more than $1.5 billion in orders, allowing for further spread tightening to a final level of 49 to 50 basis points to Municipal Market Data rate. With demonstrated fiscal value to the Commonwealth of Virginia, its taxpayers and the project’s shareholders, the 395 Express Lanes moved swiftly to construction and is on schedule and on budget to open to customers in the fall of 2019.

2019

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA)

 

Patience, persistence, and a commitment to community involvement and outreach made the difference for the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) when it launched the Selmon West Extension Project, the third attempt in 25 years to advance a project to reduce congestion along Gandy Boulevard in Tampa, Florida. Earlier plans that called for removal of homes and businesses along the corridor produced fierce community opposition. When THEA took over the project in 2009, its engineers proposed a different solution—an elevated toll lane along the median that would fit the narrow roadway and leave surrounding buildings intact. On the heels of the “Great Recession,” that plan still made business and community leaders nervous and was put on hold. But by 2014, population growth significantly increased congestion and raised concerns about evacuation preparedness in the event of a major hurricane. THEA worked closely with local leaders to reintroduce the elevated road design to maximize regional connectivity. To get the project completed, the THEA team changed their approach and focused on community involvement and outreach. This included a marketing campaign to respond to the concerns of businesses that believed they would be negatively affected by the construction. It also including hosting events to draw more customers to the Gandy Boulevard corridor, a social media initiative to engage customers, and earned media opportunities for local businesses on local television networks. The project, which had failed to launch on four previous occasions, received the endorsement of four Chambers of Commerce and minimal push back from the neighboring communities as a direct result of the grassroots outreach and strategic marketing plan that THEA created for the shopping district.

2019

Central Florida Expressway Authority, Florida Department of Transportation – District Five, Florida's Turnpike Enterprise

With a population of more than 2.5 million and more than 72 million tourists visiting annually, Central Florida needed to complete the 25-mile Wekiva Parkway (State Road 429) to relieve the increasingly congested regional road network. The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) responded by building a $1.6-billion all-electronic tolling project that combines cutting-edge mobility and technology with enhanced environmental and social innovation, helping to protect wildlife and other natural resources surrounding the ecologically significant Wekiva River. In collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Five, and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, the project is guided by the 2004 Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act, which mandated environmental protections previously unseen in Florida. Under that legislation, CFX and FDOT bought 3,400 acres of conservation land that was previously slated for development, built 1.5 miles of wildlife bridges to replace two small tunnels, elevated the parkway to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, and limited the number of interchanges in the environmentally sensitive area. The project succeeded in providing a mobility solution with a true “parkway” feel while also helping to protect the environment surrounding the Wekiva River. 

 

2019

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission


Catch it Early is the mantra for a new geographic information system (GIS) web application created by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The application helps duty officers respond proactively to traffic flow and travel times across the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Historically, the Computer Aided Dispatch System (CADs) database was used to track fire stations and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers that service various sections of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The PTC's GeoAnalytics team in conjunction with the Traffic, Engineering and Operations (TEO) department, developed a suite of tools to increase the visual awareness of traffic operations. The PTC partnered with Waze, AccuWeather, INRIX and Verizon, to gain access to real-time data-feeds. GIS applications and dashboards were developed to display real-time data feeds, video, photos, radar, wind, travel speeds, weather, traffic conditions and the PTC safety and truck locations. These data layers help users and duty officers quickly identify major traffic incidents. With this suite of tools, the PTC is able to "Catch it Early, Act, Analyze and Review" (CAAR). The applications and dashboards allow the TEO to quickly detect, view, and evaluate affected areas and identify relevant emergency service providers for any given section of monitored roadway.

2019

Illinois Tollway

In 2012, the Illinois Tollway began a major capital program that would require a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System capable of handling the growth in revenues and toll transactions. The wider effort included the introduction of the Illinois Tollway's first cashless roads, its first cashless interstate-to-interstate interchange, and new cashless lanes along a 62-mile section between Chicago and Rockford, Illinois. From the time the capital program began the agency has been preparing for significant growth in volume and complexity of tolling operations, with transactions expected to increase by at least 45 percent and revenues by at least 50 percent through 2027. That jump in activity, will translate into a massive increase in back office requirements. To meet the challenge, the Tollway contracted with Accenture LLP for a new CRM system with updated business rules, customer self-service features, new and improved lane technologies, enhanced cybersecurity, and a wider range of external partners, including collection agencies, credit card companies, and other tolling agencies through interoperability agreements. The system now allows for more than $1.5 billion in toll and violation revenue, averaging 1.6 million users and 2.8 million toll transactions per day—more than 88 percent of them all-electronic via I-PASS or E-ZPass. 

 

 

2019

ETC

 

The charge to Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation (ETC) from the Central United States Interoperability (CUSIOP) Hub project was to design, develop, test and implement a new interoperability hub system that complied with U.S. national interoperability standards and facilitated transaction processing, reporting and reconciliation for the seven (7) participating agencies in the CUSIOP coalition in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. CUSIOP member agencies include Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority (FBCTRA), Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA), Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA), North Texas Toll Authority (NTTA), and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).  The project replaced the existing Team TX Interoperability Hub, which had also been previously developed by ETC. The CUSIOP Hub will be processing transactions from other regional hubs in the very near future in the run up to achieve nationwide interoperability, using standardized protocols for file transfer and transaction processing. It is the very first multi-state hub that meets the new standards set for National Interoperability (NIOP), paving the way for the rest of the nation to follow suit. Furthermore, CUSIOP is the foundation underlying and enabling the region’s multimodal future, as the platform could be expanded to process data from non-tolling agencies and services, such as transit, ride-share and commercial parking. Thanks to the IBTTA’s Interoperability Committee that developed the national standards in collaboration with stakeholders across the nation, CUSIOP’s member agencies’ leadership and ETC’s innovative design, the seven member agencies are currently at 95% compliance with the national standard, and the system is expected to achieve 100% compliance in late 2019. To date, CUSIOP has processed nearly 1B transactions and more than $1B in revenue.

 

2020

North Texas Tollway Authority

The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) was created in 1997 by the State of Texas to help address the transportation needs in the region. With this authority, NTTA issued a significant amount of debt, sometimes in unattractive market conditions to finance and construct essential projects. In evaluating the $9.5B debt portfolio, NTTA developed a Strategic Refinancing Plan ("Plan") to capitalize on the historically low interest rate environment in recent years. The Plan was designed as a multi-year approach to strategically and methodically refund eligible debt, flattening NTTA's escalating debt curve.

Learn more about NTTA’s Strategic Refinancing Plan.

2020

Washington State Department of Transportation

On November 9, 2019, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) began tolling the SR 99 tunnel. WSDOT began tolling to repay $200 million in construction bonds borrowed to build the tunnel, and to fund the ongoing cost of operating and maintaining a safe facility. This funding is part of the $3.3 billion investment to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct and rebuild SR 99 through Seattle.  

The SR 99 tunnel, which opened in Feb. 4, 2019, was constructed to replace the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct built on Seattle's waterfront. WSDOT decided to open the tunnel toll-free for several months during demolition of the existing viaduct to keep traffic and freight moving through Seattle. This also allowed for time to test the roadway toll equipment.  With several other major transportation projects occurring in Seattle at the same time, tolling had the capability to significantly affect how drivers get through the city. To minimize diversion from tolls and ensure drivers understood how tolling works, WSDOT developed and executed a plan to maximize outreach efforts, identify opportunities and risks, and facilitate coordination with project partners. You can learn more about the SR 99 Tunnel here.  WSDOT produced a 6½-minute YouTube video, complete with close-up action sequences and before-and-after photos on the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

2020

Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway works with local communities, county forest preserve districts, regulatory agencies, and other environmental groups to provide funding to restore and enhance prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and waterways. The investments by the Illinois Tollway's in recreational trails of approximately 1,000 miles of county forest preserve trails is one of the unsung benefits provided to communities surrounding the 294-mile system of five toll roads in Northern Illinois.

The trails benefit hikers, bikers, runners, horseback riders, bird-watchers, cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, and other outdoor enthusiasts living in the Chicago region's urban and suburban environments. The trails frequently link the forest preserves to longer, regional, statewide, and multi-state trails. Bike trails also serve as an alternative transportation mode for some commuters, enhancing the regional transportation network.

As part of the Tollway's commitment to sustainability – from planning and design through construction, maintenance and operations – agency funds are invested in mitigation projects to offset the impacts of roadway construction on local and regional natural resources.

Last year, the Illinois Tollway began participating in the second phase of a large-scale project to help restore Spring Brook Creek, which runs through the St. James Farm Forest Preserve in DuPage County. The first phase, completed in 2015, reconfigured the creek to replicate a more natural, meaning stream. Phase Two of the project will improve habitat and water quality along approximately a 2-mile section of creek, creating better conditions for wildlife. The project also includes relocating the West Branch DuPage River Trail out of a floodplain, improving visitors' views of the surrounding prairies, wetlands, and woodlands. Restoration work on the second phase began in spring 2019 and is scheduled to be complete in 2021.

This project and other efforts are improving quality of life, enhancing the environment, and connecting people to nature. You can learn more here about the Tollway’s sustainability efforts.

2020

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (FTE)

SunTrax is a state-of-the-art facility being developed by Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) dedicated to the research, development, and testing of tolling and other emerging transportation technologies in safe and controlled environments. Situated on 475 acres centrally located between Tampa and Orlando in Polk County, Florida, SunTrax is composed of a 2.25-mile-long oval test track around a 200-acre infield. The multi-lane track replicates typical Florida highway conditions, with a design speed of 70 mph.

SunTrax is being developed in two phases. The first phase of construction was completed in May 2019, and it included all the infrastructure needed for FTE to perform independent testing of both current and future toll technologies. This completed phase features the multi-lane oval track offering opportunities to test multiple technologies simultaneously. Also housed here is a LEED-Certified operations center featuring exceptional training and testing facilities with fiber-optic track connections.

On the multi-lane reversible track, there are four toll sites that mirror FTE's existing field sites, which can also be adapted to test equipment from different vendors in a variety of scenarios.

SunTrax provides unprecedented access for simulations, relieving the need to close active lanes. Truck platooning, autonomous vehicles and toll transactions have been successfully conducted. Connected vehicles and infrastructure testing is vital to deliver holistic mobility solutions for all citizens by improving driver, cyclist, and pedestrian safety.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FTE, like many tolling entities, faced some challenging issues. On March 19, 2020, FTE removed cash toll collectors at plazas in order to ensure our staff and customers were as safe as possible during the initial outbreak of the pandemic. The decision was made to collect cash tolls via a "toll by plate" technology. At the same time, SunTrax played a key role in tolls testing of all-electronic tolling equipment by multiple vendors at the tolls test track. The tolls testing teams comprised of vendors, General Engineering Consultant (GEC) staff, and FDOT staff all practiced the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on social distancing, hand washing, face coverings and gloves when performing tests on the track or analyzing the data in the operations room. FTE is happy to report that there were no incidents of staff contracting COVID-19 during this increased testing period. As the State of Florida began to safely reopen, FTE made the decision to place the cash collectors back in the toll booths as of June 1, 2020. FTE continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and follows the lead of Governor Ron DeSantis on this issue.

FTE has developed a robust and dynamic website (suntraxfl.com) in order to keep the tolling and automotive technology community updated with the latest news from SunTrax. The website shows photos and renderings of the facility and live feeds of the ongoing Phase 2 construction.

Phase 2 of the SunTrax program will develop the 200-acre infield inside the oval track into a center for the development of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies. SunTrax is one of only a few facilities in the world designed from the ground up specifically for CAV testing.

As a proving ground that is open for lease by private companies, the facility also addresses all the following key operational considerations:

  • Safety of all users, visitors, and staff
  • User needs for workshop spaces, specialty test equipment, data storage, communications, food service, etc.
  • Management of user access between different areas and test sectors
  • Overall site security and user privacy considerations
  • Emergency services management

Learn more about SunTrax.

2020

E-470 Public Highway Authority

E-470 to the rescue! On March 13, 2019, the Denver Metro Area experienced an extreme weather event – a bomb cyclone. The storm produced hurricane-strength winds up to 80 miles per hour and more than 13 inches of snowfall in less than 24 hours. These conditions provided motorists and Road Management staff with less than one quarter-mile visibility and drifts along the roadway that topped out at several feet deep. Approximately 200,000 people were left without power throughout various periods of the day and thousands of motorists were stranded.

That's where E-470 stepped in. Not only did E-470 keep the road open, become a housing shelter for stranded motorists, but also used this opportunity to test the effectiveness of its recently implemented Proactive Traffic Management Program. This program is run by E-470's Traffic Management Center (TMC). The TMC is the hub of all traffic management systems where information concerning traffic operations is collected and analyzed to make modifications to each system as necessary, including coordinating responses to events in real-time. This allows E-470 to provide timely information to motorists on social media and via our variable message signs. Integration with 52 CCTVs that cover the entire tollway offer expanded surveillance and improved incident response and management, which was key to our extreme weather response in March 2019.

Throughout the entire storm, the TMC, Roadside Assistance staff, maintenance team and law enforcement went above and beyond typical services while enduring white-out winter conditions. With incidents and requests for service flying in at an overwhelming pace, the entire Road Management team persisted throughout the storm to provide outstanding customer service to law enforcement, E-470 management and the traveling public.

Learn more.

2020

HNTB Corporation

Recognized as the No. 1 project on the 2018 Roads & Bridges Top 10 Roads list, the Northwest Corridor (NWC) Express Lanes represents the largest single investment in Georgia’s transportation infrastructure and one of the most transformative projects in state history. Acknowledged as the most innovative and complex express lanes project in the country due to being a fully reversible system spanning across two counties and two interstates, as well as a dual-agency endeavor. These Express Lanes not only improve traffic flow, they have provided enhanced transit opportunities, boosted mobility, and driven economic development.

The project extends along I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee Counties, northwest of the city of Atlanta. This 29.7-mile reversible tolled system (traveling southbound toward Atlanta in the morning commute and northbound in the evening) included the design of four new Express Lane access interchanges on I-75, 14 slip ramp access points along I-75 and I-575, and 39 bridges with lengths totaling approximately 27,500 LF and deck area totaling 1.02 million SF.

The project was delivered through a P3 and DBF model that ensured an on-time and on-budget delivery. The DBF model was streamlined to include less private financing and greater control for the state.

HNTB Corporation served as the Program Management Consultant (PMC) for the project, which was led by the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (Georgia DOT) Office of Innovative Delivery (OID) and is operated by the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA).

Learn more about Georgia’s Northwest Corridor Express Lanes.

2020

Egis

Egis, with the support of the Concessionaire Atlandes, has developed an innovative Virtual Reality (VR) Training program to teach and certify safety patrollers to perform incident management for toll bridges, tunnels, and highways while completely eliminating the risk and danger of on-site emergency instruction to trainers and students. In collaboration with Immersive Factory, a start-up specializing in the design of virtual training, we developed a series of 15-minute learning modules to train motorway patrollers using virtual reality technology on the A63 Motorway, a 65-mile toll road between Bordeaux, France, and Spain.

The job of patroller is extremely dangerous. In France, an average of 10 patroller vehicles are hit per month while the patrollers are securing an event, leading to 16 injured patrollers and one death. And, training in this environment is even more dangerous. On-site training is also very time-consuming and expensive; and the ability to replicate many different event types and conditions is severely limited.
Egis VR Training has changed all of that.

The VR Training is a total immersion in the working environment. The surrounding conditions such as traffic noise, vehicle speed and weather events are reproduced in very realistic detail – allowing the student to experience a variety of real-world emergencies in real-time.

With the new VR Training, A63 patrollers can be safely trained and tested in motorway safety and callout procedures by simply donning a virtual reality headset and using the handheld controls.

Every activity is simulated within the VR environment. From behind the wheel of their virtual safety vehicle, the patroller encounters a random incident such as a broken-down vehicle, an object in the middle of the road, or a serious accident causing injuries or involving hazardous materials. As in real-life, the patroller then has only a few seconds to make their decisions for dealing with the emergency. Where should I park my van? What warning lights, signs and markings should I install – and where should they located? And, how can I best protect myself and those involved in the incident?

The virtual reality training module is now used as part of an awareness-raising exercise aimed at all other employees in our company to help them gain a better understanding of the job of the patroller which fosters improved communication between our various project teams. And, finally, based on the great feedback received on our in-house awareness program, we will be using our VR Training as part of a communication campaign to teach customers about safety procedures on the motorway.

Learn more about Virtual Reality Training.