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Tolling Points

IBTTA and Earth Day - Moving the Toll Industry to Sustainable and Resilient Mobility

Mark Muriello, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, IBTTA

The toll operator members of IBTTA are responsible for some of the most critical assets in the nation’s highway system and deliver with the highest standards in safety and reliability. Toll facilities are well maintained, convenient, and operated at high service levels, providing customer satisfaction and choices. But with the world facing the harsh realities of climate change, motorists, stakeholders, and local communities hosting toll facilities are increasingly measuring value and customer satisfaction by the environmental responsibility and stewardship that toll organizations provide.

IBTTA and its members are demonstrating industry leadership, not only in building, operating, and maintaining critical infrastructure and transportation services, but also in how we ensure sustainable and resilient investments and operations. IBTTA recognizes the transportation industry’s history in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and the role we must play in addressing objectives to care for the environment and manage the consequences from years of neglect.

With this in mind, in order to build for the future, IBTTA is looking at how tolling, pricing, and road-use charging supports sustainable mobility and helps address climate change. Over the last few years, IBTTA has taken several steps to make advancements in these areas. 

IBTTA created its Task Force on Sustainability and Resilience in 2021 to:

  • share best practices from both U.S. and international operators;
  • explore ways to advance alternative fuels and renewable energy in toll facility operations, including augmenting a national electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure deployment;
  • research the use of performance management, data, and metrics to drive attainment of environmental objectives and outcomes, and shape wise investment priorities and project selection; and
  • seek partnerships to establish guidelines and tools for mitigating climate change and enhancing resiliency of critical assets and systems.

Adopting Performance Measurement and Metrics 

IBTTA’s climate action agenda seeks to help members use data and performance measures to drive program development and decision making. Our effort is rooted in the basic idea that “We cannot fix what we cannot measure.” The initial work addresses emissions valuations, key performance measures (KPIs), and ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria.  We are working with IBTTA members to identify and know their business carbon footprint, sources, and impacts. By establishing baseline data and an emissions reduction goal, organizations can adopt a roadmap towards a carbon-neutral future.

Supporting Adoption of Vehicle Electrification and Alternative Fuels

This effort focuses on electric vehicle (EV) adoption and charging infrastructure deployment, as well as the adoption of other low-emission alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, propane, and compressed natural gas. Initial efforts aim to increase IBTTA members’ understanding and awareness of the impacts and opportunities of vehicle electrification and alternative fuel use through business cases and benefit-cost analyses. The aim is to identify guidance and best practices in project prioritization and selection, project development, partnerships and engagement opportunities, and risk analysis and risk management strategies.

Elevating Education and Information Exchanges

IBTTA is committed to programs that advance sustainability and resilience education and information exchange among its members. To maintain focus and momentum on climate action and resiliency for the IBTTA community, we aim to help members navigate through sustainability and resilience legislation and regulations and identify opportunities and access to grants and other resources. By identifying potential partnerships for members with relevant vendors, service providers, and technical experts, we will build solid business approaches and service delivery options. We will also create a library of policies, documents, and resources and develop a program of events and content at IBTTA meetings to exchange relevant information.

Preparing for More Frequent and Severe Weather Disruptors

In the first two months of 2022, four separate storms in Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, and Greece had dramatic impacts on many road users. These storms illustrated how significant events, including severe weather and natural disasters, are increasingly disrupting typical operations and toll facilities due to climate change. In response, IBTTA released a report that summarizes best practices and critical success factors in emergency management and response, based upon use cases and studies that highlight lessons learned from past events.   

As we celebrate Earth Day 2022, we are reminded of this year’s theme to “invest in our planet.” IBTTA members are distinguished as experts in transportation and infrastructure investment, and we take the theme of investment in the planet seriously. IBTTA’s new strategic plan highlights more sustainable and resilient mobility solutions and integrating climate change mitigation as pervasive objectives seated in every aspect of our agenda. Studies have shown that toll facilities and road pricing programs are good for the environment by reducing congestion and managing travel demand and traffic flows to meaningfully mitigate harmful emissions.  

IBTTA remains committed to working with members and other partners toward sustainable and resilient mobility and a healthy planet.  Happy Earth Day!

Newsletter publish date: 
Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 10:00


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