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Preparing for the Future: Technology’s Impact on Tolling

It seems every day we are introduced to a new technological marvel. From the multitudes of mobile applications arriving daily on the market place, to vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technology that will change transportation in inner-cities, technology is evolving at such a fast pace that, while exciting, it has become difficult to keep up. Individuals and industries alike are struggling to understand how the “latest and the greatest” technologies will simplify our lives and how to implement those technologies cost effectively to improve the user experience.

The tolling industry is certainly no different and arguably has the most to gain – or lose – from some of these advancements. While the macro-effect on the tolling industry from some of the newer technologies (e.g. connected and autonomous vehicles) will not be fully understood for quite some time, there are other advancements currently being implemented that will have a more immediate effect.

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Toll Roads: Overcoming Public Apathy or Understanding Public Concern?

Has the American public become a society of shunpikers?

If you’re not familiar with the term, shunpiking is the act of deliberately avoiding roads that require payment of a fee or toll to travel on them, usually by traveling on alternate ‘free’ roads which bypass the toll road.

Shunpiking might be the way to go if you’re unveiling a new Harley Davidson on a beautiful autumn day, but for the average American it’s quite the contrary. In fact, recent surveys indicate that the public is far more supportive of toll roads and user fees than we are often led to believe.

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Managed Lanes Can Help Alleviate Costs and Congestion

North and south Seattle traffic in evening commute

My boss kept me late, and now I’m rushing to my son’s daycare trying not to pay the late fee of $1 per minute for every minute after 5:15 p.m. Why are we stopping?

Traffic congestion is going to cost me time and money. When faced with this, wouldn’t it be nice to have an option to use an express lane that avoids the congestion for less than the cost of the daycare penalty?

This is just one example of the cost of congestion and how express lanes can assist drivers by providing transportation choices. We spend a lot of time in our cars getting to and from our destinations, whether it’s getting to work on time, making it to practice or simply trying to stay on schedule.

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The Road Ahead: How Connected Vehicle Technology Will Make Our Streets Safe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been reminding us that the primary reason for deploying autonomous, connected vehicles (AV/CV) and connected automated vehicles (CAV) technology is to increase public safety. While system capacity, efficiency, reduced fuel consumption and increased sustainability are all secondary benefits, the federal agencies regulating the technology are predominately concerned with public safety and loss of life.

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Dealing with Toll Opposition

With all of the variable approaches to tolling, the one constant we seem to face is opposition. The success of the interstate system and gas tax funding make it difficult for some individuals to accept pricing in providing transportation solutions.

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