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Tolling Points

Toll Excellence Awards Stress Interoperability, Equity, Public Engagement

By: 
Bill Cramer

Toll interoperability technology, lane analysis and monitoring, equity in mobility and public engagement around a high-profile bridge replacement were among the focal points last week when IBTTA presented the 2018 Toll Excellence Awards during its 86th Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Baltimore.

The winners are:

  • The E-470 Public Highway Authority in Aurora, Colorado for a program that boosted the overall effectiveness of the state’s temporary license plates;
  • Halifax Harbour Bridges for its Big Lift Communications and Engagement Plan;
  • The Virginia Department of Transportation for a first-of-its-kind program that offers meaningful financial relief to tollway users in the lowest income brackets;
  • The North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) for becoming the first tolling agency in the United States with the ability to read all three transponder protocols under consideration for national toll interoperability;
  • Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise for a system that spots subtle degradations in lane performance that can prevent all-electronic tolling agencies from collecting all the revenues that are due to them;
  • emovis, for its innovative New Mersey Gateway Bridge project in the United Kingdom.

IBTTA’s coveted President’s Award for 2018 went to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority for its ground breaking leadership on the technology solutions that are driving the shift to toll interoperability across the U.S.

“The NCTA successfully replaced its legacy reader technology on 80 lanes of the Triangle Expressway with tri-protocol reader technology,” the award citation states. The new equipment “was installed without stopping traffic or interrupting toll collection activities and with minimal impact on NC Quick Pass customers.”

The project directly supported the drive for nationwide interoperability of electronic toll collection systems and “allowed NCTA to offer customers NC Quick Pass sticker transponders for free for the first time,” the citation continues. “NCTA also permanently reduced the cost of the E-ZPass interoperable transponders for its customers, while still supporting all previously purchased transponders.”

IBTTA Executive Director and CEO Patrick Jones stressed the innovation, perseverance, and diligence behind every Toll Excellence Award project, and the immense value tollway users get back—from the six projects that are selected, and from all those that take part in the annual award competition.

“Today’s transportation challenges require creative strategies and new technologies to meet the demands of the driving public,” Jones said. “The tolling industry has become a worldwide incubator for the implementation of cutting-edge solutions.”

David Machamer, Chair of IBTTA’s Toll Excellence Award Committee and Assistant Executive Director for Toll and PIKEPASS Operations with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, said the number of public and private sector applicants for the award increases each year.

“The process has become quite competitive, with entries from across the globe,” he said. “The industry is proud to share the good works, successful projects and solutions to advance the tolling and transportation industry.”

Click here for all the details on this year’s Toll Excellence Award winners

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