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Tolling Points

Cell Phone-Transponder App in Florida Beta Test Was IBTTA Award Winner

By: 
Bill Cramer

An IBTTA member and award winner is beta testing a cell phone-transponder app that will make it easier for out-of-state visitors and other occasional users to take advantage of all-electronic tolling (AET) services in Central Florida.

The announcement from San Francisco-based PayTollo and the Central Florida Expressway Authority comes just a few weeks before IBTTA convenes its 2016 Summit on AET, Managed Lanes, and Interoperability, July 24-26, 2016 in Boston.

The app is designed to “notify drivers when they are approaching a toll and give them the option to pay through their phone after their ride is over—a convenience for casual toll customers and tourists with no E-Pass or SunPass accounts,” the Orlando Sentinel reports this week. “All users have to do is download PayTollo (it's currently available for Apple products only) and plug in their contact, vehicle, and payment information” to become a beta tester.

The company “has been actively testing the technology on Central Florida roads since January with about 30 testers,” and is now trying to assemble 1,000 or so users to help them “stress test” the system, the paper notes.

"It just gives consumers another option, especially as visitors that come to the area and people who don't have transponders," said CFX spokesperson Michelle Maikisch.

From ‘Shark Tank’ to Roadway

PayTollo was one of a handful of app developers that showed off their wares during a “shark tank” session at IBTTA’s 82nd Annual Meeting and Exposition in Austin, Texas in 2014, the Sentinel recalls. The company won top honors for demonstrating the most innovative toll payment option, and later linked up with CFX for a free beta test.

"We like to say [the agency] incubated us," said co-founder Abenezer Yohalashet. Now, “we’re really trying to pitch to other toll authorities” using CFX as a base.

The beta test connects directly to the 2016 deadline for national toll interoperability that participants will be discussing during the AET Summit in Boston.

“This is such a great example of the smart ideas that happen and are talked about when tolling professionals come together to share ideas at an IBTTA conference,” said IBTTA Executive Director and CEO, Pat Jones. “For anyone who still hasn’t registered for this July’s AET Summit, I can’t imagine a better reason to get it done right now.”

AET? Interoperability? Where else would you want to be July 24-26 if not in Boston? Sign up today for IBTTA’s 2016 All-Electronic Tolling, Managed Lanes and Interoperability Summit.

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