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Tolling Points

IBTTA's 106 Seconds of Fame Spotlights Interoperability Across the Country

By: 
Bill Cramer

The news story ran just a minute and 46 seconds. But it covered a lot of ground, pivoting back and forth between screen shots of mostly electronic toll facilities and a taped interview with IBTTA Executive Director and CEO Pat Jones.

In all, viewers in more than 50 major communities in 22 states came away with the unmistakable message that national toll interoperability is an important opportunity whose time has mostly come.

“Ninety-five percent of toll transactions are already interoperable,” Jones told a reporter from the nationally syndicated Sinclair Broadcast Group. “There’s interoperability now between 17 states and 37 agencies extending from North Carolina to Maine, and as far west as Illinois. So it’s already happening. The challenge is simply knitting together each region that is interoperable.”

Telling the Story on Interoperability

Jones delivered three critical messages for a public audience that has no need for the deep, technical details on interoperability, but every good reason to want the process to succeed.

There’s still more work to be done.

The successes to date mean that interoperability is almost universal at the regional level, where the vast majority of non-commercial users are most likely to need it most often.

And, members of IBTTA have been working toward a solution and implementation of nationwide interoperability for a decade.

The Sinclair story leads off noting that true, national interoperability is still a work in progress, and much of the interview focuses on the original 2016 deadline laid down by the U.S. Congress to get the system in place. But “the good news is we’re close,” Sinclair writes. Jones “said the problem with not meeting that 2016 deadline set by Congress is that there was no direction or funding attached to that deadline.”

In the absence of any clear decisions on who should drive the process or how the work would be paid for, the segment recounted how the tolling industry stepped up and took on the challenge. “Jones said over the years toll agencies have been mostly paying for the changes you’ve seen or will see,” the network writes. “That includes being able to use the same toll tag within a region.”

Get the latest on interoperability and all the other tech innovations sweeping transportation and tolling. Mark your calendar for IBTTA’s next Technology Summit, April 2-4, 2020 in San Diego.

Newsletter publish date: 
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 10:45

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