Advancements in electronic tolling are transforming highway transportation by providing greater mobility, smoother traffic flow, and improved safety for drivers and their passengers, according to new survey data released today by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA). The new report, released during IBTTA's 84th Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Denver, CO, shines a light on the dramatic changes that technology has brought to toll operators and their customers. As All-Electronic Tolling (AET) expands, people and goods travel more efficiently, helping to spur more robust economic growth,” said Earl "Buddy" J. Croft, III, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, and IBTTA President. “Across the nation, more tolling agencies are turning to AET as a proven congestion-buster that delivers a safer, more predictable ride for users who need to reach their destination on time."
Electronic tolling has come a long way from its start more than 27 years ago, when the first electronic toll collection technology began on the Dallas North Tollway. That paved the way for technology to play an increasingly critical role in moving people, goods and services effectively, efficiently and safely.
The new survey, Toll Technology Transforms Mobility for Customers, conducted during the third quarter of 2016 collected technology-related data from 36 tolling facilities in 18 states, representing all regions of the country. Here are a few of the major findings:
- With the implementation of new technologies, cash use continues to decline. As a share of total revenue, from 2010 to 2015 cash use decreased from 29 to 18 percent.
- Between 2010 and 2015, there has been an increase of 19.3M electronic transponders on America's roads.
- There were 32.7M toll accounts in 2015, up sharply from 19.9M toll accounts in 2010—an increase of more than 64 percent.
- The 36 toll facilities participating in IBTTA’s 2016 National Toll Technology Survey experienced a combined increase of $4.7 billion in revenues between 2010 and 2015.
"Technology is transforming today's driving experience as more states move away from cash tolls and embrace cashless solutions," said Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO of IBTTA. "Colorado and Washington— with the exception of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (SR16)—already have statewide AET, and Massachusetts plans to deploy AET statewide this October."
This tolling technological revolution is further illustrated by the tremendous growth in transponder accounts from 2010 to 2015 throughout the U.S. New York leads the country with the most transponders at 9.3M, followed by Texas (8.6M), Florida (7.2M), Illinois (5.5M), New Jersey (5M), California (3.8M), Pennsylvania (2.7M), Virginia (1.8M), and Maryland (1.4M). Every state surveyed reported increases in their electronic toll accounts and transponders during those five years.
As demonstrated in the report, the ongoing rise in the use of electronic and video tolling—and the decrease in the use of cash on toll facilities—portend an increasingly high-tech future for tolling and transportation throughout the country.
"This data offers us a stunning illustration of how technology has rapidly altered the transportation landscape in the last several years, and forecasts the increasing role it is certain to play well into the future," said Jones.
IBTTA's Report, National Toll Facilities Usage Analysis, released earlier this year, showed the use of toll facilities increased by 7 percent between 2014 and 2015, a record-breaking rate of growth that puts tolling use on pace to double in less than 10 years.
"As more tolling innovations make their way through the technology pipeline, and as the industry works toward achieving interoperability nationwide, drivers are looking at a user-focused future enhanced by ever-evolving technologies that continually improve convenience and safety on America’s highways, bridges and tunnels,"Jones concluded.