Analysis of automatic vehicle identification technology and its potential application on the Florida turnpike

Analysis of automatic vehicle identification technology and its potential application on the Florida turnpike

Material Information

Analysis of automatic vehicle identification technology and its potential application on the Florida turnpike
Florida -- Dept. of Transportation
University of South Florida -- Center for Urban Transportation Research
Floridiana Collection
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
University of South Florida, College of Engineering, Center for Urban Transportation Research
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
iii, 69 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Toll roads -- Automation -- Florida ( lcsh )
Motor vehicles -- Automatic location systems ( lcsh )
Florida Turnpike (Fla.) ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 65-69).
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online.
General Note:
Prepared for the Florida Dept. of Transportation.
General Note:
"June 1990."
Statement of Responsibility:
by the Center for Urban Transportation Research.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
029184342 ( ALEPH )
25772786 ( OCLC )
C01-00048 ( USFLDC DOI )
c1.48 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Analysis of automatic vehicle identification technology and its potential application on the Florida turnpike.
n Technical memorandum 1 /
by the Center for Urban Transportation Research.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida, College of Engineering, Center for Urban Transportation Research,
iii, 69 leaves :
ill. ;
28 cm.
Prepared for the Florida Dept. of Transportation.
"June 1990."
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 65-69).
Also issued online.
Toll roads
z Florida
x Automation.
Motor vehicles
Automatic location systems.
Florida Turnpike (Fla.)
1 710
Dept. of Transportation.
University of South Florida.
Center for Urban Transportation Research.
Floridiana Collection.
t Center for Urban Transportation Research Publications [USF].
4 856


Analysis Of Automatic Vehicle Identification Technology And Its Potential Application On The Florida Turnpike Technical Memorandum 1


Analysis Of Automatic Vehicle Identification Technology And Its Potential Application On The Florida Turnpike Technical Memorandum 1 Prepared for the Florida Department of Transportation by the Center for Urban Transportation Research June 1990


TABLE OF CONTENTS Seclion Page TABLE OF CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i liST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . m liST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 I II. III. IV. v. INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW ................... OVERVIEW OF APPliCATIONS OF AVI ............... A Railroads ...... ............................. B. Shipping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. C. Trucking . . ...... ........................... D. Toll Collection . ............................... REVIEW OF A VI TECHNOLOGY APPUED TO TOll. COllECTION ............. . . ........... A Detection ....................... . . .......... B. .................................. C. Administration ................................ . EXISTING TOll. ROAD APPliCATIONS OF A VI ........ A. Dallas North Tollway ............................ B. New Orleans ................... . ...... ... .. C. San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge ........ ............ D. Grosse De Bridge ............. ................. E. Pinellas Bayway ................................ F. Treasure Island ................................ G. Delaware River Port Authority ..................... H. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ........... I. Nassau County Bridge Authority .................... J. Lee County, Florida ............................ K Maryland Transportation Authority .............. .... PENDING TOll. ROAD APPliCATIONS OF A VI ...... ... A Dulles Fastoll Project ......................... ... B. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission .............. . . C. Ill i nois State Toll Highway Authority . . ........... . D. E-470 Public Highway Authority (Denver) ............. E California Toll Roads (Orange County) ............... F. Oklahoma Turnpike Authority . . . . . . . . . . . G. Orlando/Orange County Expressway Authority ......... H. Other Pending A VI Systems . . . . . . . .... I 1 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 12 1 2 15 15 20 21 23 24 26 27 29 30 31 33 34 34 35 35 36 37 37 38 38


VJ. ISSUES RELATED TO 1HE APPUCA TION OF A VJ . . . 40 A Market Id entification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 B. Benefits And Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 C. Dedicated Vs. Mixed Use Lanes . . . . . . . . . . 41 D. Traffic Safety Iss ues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 E. Speed Vs. Accountability . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 F. Legal Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 G. Payment Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 H Potential Health Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 I. Electrical Interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 VII. SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 VJII. APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 A Survey Letter To A VJ Vendors . . . . . . . . . . 52 B. List Of A VJ Vendors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 C. Survey Letter To A VJ Operators . . . . . . . . . . 59 D. List Of A VJ Operato rs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 E. Bibliography Of A VJ Technology . . . . . . . . . . 65 ii


LIST OF TABLES Table Page Table 1 Power and Frequency Level Comparison . . . . . . . . .. 11 Table 2 Payment Systems of Selected A VI Operators . . . . . . . 45 LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page Figure 1 Concept for Automatic Vehicle Identification . . . . . . . 6 Figure 2 Existing Toll Road Applications of A VI in the United States . 15 Figure 3 Amtech Driver Information System . . . . . . . . . . 18 Figure 4 Pending Toll Road Applications of A VI in the United States . 34 Figure 5 Monthly Processing Cost Per Account, Pre-Payment vs. Post-Payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Figure 6 Processing Cost Per A VI Transaction . . . . . . . . . . 47 Iii


I. INTRODUCHON AND OVERVIEW The Florida Department of Transportation has entered into a contract with the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida to perform an "Ana l ysis of Automatic Vehicle Identification Technology and Its Potenti al Application on the F lorida Turnpike. The project is comprised of three distinct but rel ated phases. Phase I consists of a review of the state of the art in automatic vehicle identification (AVI) technology. It includes a literature review and comprehensive surveys of vendors of A VI systems to determine available technologies, system operating characteristics, and examples of applications nationwide. CUTR has contacted over 30 companies (14 outside the U n i ted States) that manufacture all or parts of various A VI systems or that serve as systems integrators. Phase I also includes a survey of agencies and organizations that currently have operational A VI systems or that are contemplating A VI systems for the future. A standard letter questionnaire was sent to known vendors and operators requesting detailed information about their systems. In addition, CUTR staff made an initial telephone contact with each of them as well as numerous follow up calls to actively encourage their response. The appendix of this report includes the vendor and operator survey letters as well as a list o f vendors and operators. Additionally a bibliography of Automatic Vehicle Identification technology and applications is included. This technical memorandum summarizes the results of the Phase I efforts It includes a review of A VI technology, existing applications of A VI focusing on toll road applications, pendi n g toll road applications, and a discussion of the issues identified and their potential relevance to Florida's Turnpike. Phase II will consist of survey research regarding subjective attitudes towards A VI. The research will include three distinct survey methods. F irst wi ll be a review of studies of existing users of A VI systems to create typical A VI user profiles. If permitted by other toll road authorities, primary data collection efforts may be undertaken by CUTR. The second survey will be of users of Florida's Turnpike to determine characteristics such as frequency of use, trip purpose, attitudes toward A VI, and general demographics. This survey will consist of a very short roadside interview and a supplemental mail-back questionnaire. It wil l be performed at selected locations in the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Orlando areas 1


where previous studies have i dentified high frequency of five-day-per-week users. The third survey will consist of obtaining the per ceptions of various focus groups comprised of Florida's Turnpike users which will permit more detailed discrimination of att i tudinal factors related to A VI use. I t is anticipated that one focus group will consist of r ep r esentatives of organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, trucking associations, delivery services, etc The other focus group will consist primarily of Turnpike commuters Phase m of the project will cons ist of an evaluation of the specific application of A VI technology to Florida's Turnpike. It will include consideration of design concept requirements, traffic operations, capacity, availability and reliability of technology legal requ i rements, administrative issues, and other factors. Additional fonnal documentat ion of the project will include a second technical memorandum, which will report the find i ngs of Phase n and Phase III, as well as a project fina l report, which will present the entire project effort in a format suitable for widespread distribution to a non-technical audience. The infonnation collected and the reportS prepared as a result of this project will fonn a basis for the Florida Department of Transportation to determine the feasibility of implementing A VI on Florida s Turnp i ke. 2


II. OVERVIEW OF APPLICATIONS OF AVI Early applications of A VI technology were primarily in the various elements of the cargo transportation industry, with widespread interest on the part of toll road authorities relatively recent. A VI technology has proven to be effective in almost all forms of transportation. The railroad, shipping, and trucking industries have found A VI to be an important technological improvement over other methods of vehicle classification. An overview of general A VI applications is provided in this section. RAILROADS A VI originated in the railway industry, with the purpose of monitoring the movements of trains, thus allowing efficient scheduling. As the railway industry grew, however, the possibility of lost cargo became more prevalent, and so A VI was used to keep track of cargo as well as railcars as they moved across the country. The first identification system used by the railway industry was a type of optical/bar code system. A bar code strip was placed on the side of the trailer car or locomotive engine; the bar code, which was read as the train passed by a scanner. These early systems encountered difficu lties in attaining an accurate scan because the bar codes became obstructed by rain, sleet, snow, and dirt, making it difficult for the scanner to read them. Current A VI technology eliminates many problems associated with the optical bar code method. Through the use of radio, telemetry, microwaves, magnetic induction, and acoustic crystal technologies, modern A VI equipment can read in the most adverse of conditions. SHIPPING A VI is used by the shipping industry to track cargo and for port of entry clearance. Transponders are attached to shipping containers, which are used for importing and exporting goods. These containers, which are shaped like railway box cars or truck trailers, can be directly loaded onto railcars or trucks for transport. A VI is also used for port of entry clearance, which reduces processing time, thereby resulting in reduced delivery time. 3


TRUCKING In addition to toll collection, the trucking industry uses A VI for vehicle tracking and weigh station processing. A VI allows trucking companies to track their vehicles as they travel from the point of origin to the point of destination, which reduces the possibility of theft. Annual losses due to theft in the trucking industry have been estimated to be in excess of $7 billion. The potential benefits of reduction in theft resulting from A VI applications can be a major benefit to the trucking industry. A VI used in conjunction with weighin-motion (WIM) technology greatly enhances the trucking industry's delivery speed. WIM technology uses state-of-the-art techniques for weighing vehicles while in motion. Combined with A VI capabilities for vehicle identification, the amount of time spent at weigh stations can be greatly reduced. TOLL COLLECTION The remainder of this technical memorandum details the application of A VI technology as it applies to highway toll collection. 4


Ill. REVIEW OF AVI TECHNOLOGY APPLIED TO TOLL COLLEcriON This section describes the basic A VI technologies that are currently available (or being tested) in the toll collection industry. The principal vendors are identified at the end of each technology description. Refinement of these technologies is ongoing and rapidly evolving; thus, it is important to mention that the information noted herein represents only present-day vendor survey data. DETEcriON Introduction Automatic vehicle identification (A VI) is the term used for techniques that uniquely identify vehicles as they pass specific points, without requiring any action by the driver or an observer. A VI has been found to be particularly appropriate for automatic toll collection as well as other transportation-related applications. Common to all A VI systems are three basic functional elements: a vehicle-mounted transponder (or toll tag), an adjacent reader antenna, and a master computer system for the processing and storage of data. The transponder and reader antenna technology utilized for detection are independent of the master computer system utilized for management and accounting. The A VI process is relatively simple. Information that identifies a vehicle is encoded onto the toll tag. As the vehicle passes the reader site, the toll tag is activated to transmit the coded data to the reader antenna and then to the adjacent roadside reader. At the roadside reader, the data are checked for integrity before being transmitted to the master computer for processing and storage. Figure 1 illustrates the basic A VI concept. During the first investigations of A VI in the 1960's and 1970's, a number of transmission techniques were tested. Two of the earliest small-scale, experimental A VI systems in the U.S. were Merritt Parkway in Connecticut and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Both systems both operated for 15-20 years but are no longer in service because tolls were removed from the Merritt Parkway and General Electric Company discontinued A VI parts production for the Golden Gate Bridge. The Merritt Parkway utilized toll tag plates 5


FIGURE 1 Concept For Automatic Vehicle Identification r ----, 1 o.-. I Proce .. or I I I I I I I I I I I L.. ____ .J Afldtt Conttollt r TYPICAL IDENTIFICATION TAG LOCATIONS FOR SIDE READ 3 M Ttttfle Control Materilt. OM liOn A .. d., Trnamitttd Slonat IGtnt To \ Ani READER LOCAnON FOR SIDE READ l

attached to bumpers and the Golden Gate Bridge utilized infrared scanning first and then switched to RF technology. Recent advances in data processing and vehicle detection have made the application of A VI technology even more feasible for automatic toll collection. The following discussion outlines the technical and scientific principles for each of the major A VI tec hnologies. Optical and Infrared Optical and infrared technologies utilize a tag in the form of a coded label that consists of a series of lines of varying widths or colors. Vehicle identity information is extracted from this label by passing it through a scanner that uses a laser beam generated by a two milliwatt helium-neon laser to retrieve data from a bar coded label. The laser beam is deflected in a fan-shaped pattern across the label. The reflected energy of the laser beam, representing the unique lines of the coded label, is collected, processed, and converted to a digital signal. The scanning process is completed in less than one quarter of a second. Most early A VI systems were based on optical scanner techniques similar to those exhibited at the grocery check-out line. A number of relatively minor problems have been encountered with optical systems, primarily because clear visibility and controlled lighting are required for reliable performance. In addition, these systems are sometimes particularly sensitive to tag misalignment, depth perception, and focusing. Infrared operate in a manner similar to that of optical systems but use an infrared frequency, which has slightly more penetrating ability. Initially tried as a substitute for optical systems, infrared technology was also found to be sensitive to the extremes of weather However, it has been reported that reading can occur at traffic speeds as high as 55 miles per hour, depending upon the size of the bar code. The required range of distance for bar code scanning is between two feet (minimum) and 8-10 feet (maximum). This technology can also process data at 25 milliseconds per character. LazerData Corporation, AMSKAN Ide ntification Electronics, and Cubic Western Data are the primary vendors for optical laser /infrared scanner technology. 7


Inductive Loon These systems utilize inductive coupling for data transmission, with conventional loops in the pavement acting as antennae for relaying signals to or from vehicles This technology is primarily used in transit and bus a pplications, where vehicle monitoring of locations and headways are necessary witho u t the presence of toll plazas. In pavement loops typically cover a lateral span of up to 16 feet; reading can occur at speeds up to 100 miles per bour. Inductive systems can be categorized into three types: active, semi-active and passive. Active systems utilize transponders that acquire their power from the vehicle on which they are mounted. These systems are triggered by the inductive loop to transm i t an identification code. Semi active systems have just recently been developed and utilize an internal battery to provide power to transmit an identification signal when triggered by the inductive loop. Passive systems use transponders that are energized by power transmitted by the inductive loop embedded in the pavement. Passive systems are less vulnerable than active units to interference since they do not depend on the veh i cle for thei r source of power. Transponders for all types of in ductive systems must be mounted externally on vehicles. They must also be at least six i nches fr o m the ground and have a clear downward view o f the road surface. Eureka Systems Inc., Vapor (Canada) and EMX Corporation are the primary vendors for the inductive loop detection technology. Radio Frequency (RF) and Microwave These types of techno l ogy are specially designed for applications where optical or magnetic (inductive loop) systems would not be applicable due to visual barriers, distance from equipment, and extreme weather conditions. According to vendor reports, tags can be read at distances of up to 235 feet and at speeds of up to 1 80 miles per hour Each transponder contains up to 20 alphanumeric characters and is programmable. It is important that the tag be mounted correctly so that its polarity is aligned with the system reader antenna. As with inductive A VI systems, RF or microwave systems can be divided into active, semi active, and passive. Operating in generally the same frequency range, these A VI 8


technologies operate within a radiating field. Semi-active systems have an advantage in that the transponders are relatively secure against interference. Semi-active systems also avoid the need for high power transmissions to energize the transponder. Microwave and RF systems can transmit greater atnounts of data at much faster rates than inductive loop systems because they operate at higher frequencies. In these systems, the transponder contains a small internal receiving antenna, an internal transmitter, and solid state electronic circuitl)'. RF and microwave transponders also tend to be smaller in size than inductive loop transponders. Amtech Corporation, Phillips (Sweden), Vapor (Canada), General Railway Signal (GRS), and AMSKAN Identification Electronics are the primal)' vendors for RF /microwave detection technology. Surface Acoustical Wave C5AWJ This type of A VI technology operates at much the same frequency range as RF and microwave systems. The only difference between SAW and microwave-RF systems is that the SAW transponder is non-progratnmable. Under the SAW technology, a low power radio frequency signal from the A VI reader is captured by the transponder antenna and energizes a lithium CI)'Stal, setting up an acoustical wave along its surface. This acoustical wave travels along the surface of the CI)'Stal so that etched metal taps can be used to send back a series of time-delayed reflections of the original signal that uniquely identify a vehicle. SAW technology offers less electronics than microwave and RF; thus it has the capability to produce much smaller and less expensive transponders. However, because SAW technology produces more transmission wave reflections to the antenna reader, it may tend to have problems with high speed reading. This technology can usually identify vehicles moving up to 55 miles per hour and at a distance of up to 15 feet from the reader. Since the read range of each system is individually programmed, the system can be tuned to improve efficiency under v31)'ing conditions. The 3M Corporation (X-CYTE, lnc./SAIC) is the primal)' vendor for SAW detection technology.


'Smart Transponder "Smart" transponders are two-way devices that are part of the vehicle system and contain both microprocessors and memory elements. Therefore, this technology would be able to perfonn calculations and manipulate data independently of any onboard vehicle device to which a transponder may be connected. This would also allow the transponder to maintain toll account records and to automatically debit the account each time the vehicle passed through a toll plaza. However, the "smart transponder" concept has not yet been fully tested or impleme nted by the toll collection industry. General Motors Corporation is the leading innovator for the "smart" technology. PQWt!r and Fregpency Level Reguirements Comparison of power level requirements and frequeney ranges between A VI technologies is important as it relates to the potential for radiation exposure and interference with other electronic systems. More importantly, it is beneficial to indicate how these A VI characteristics relate to other common everyday systems. Table 1 illustrates these comparisons and relationships. As indicated, the maximum power requirements for the A VI technologies fall well below other common systems, and the maximum frequeney for A VI technologies is slightly above most common systems, except for optical/infrared (far above) and inductive loop (far below). The combination of power and frequeney defines the magnitude of radiation being generated. Therefore, a combination of high power and high frequeney would translate into a potentially dangerous level of radiation. In summary, this issue can be clearly addressed by noting that a cellular telephone, which is becoming a very common everyday system, transmits at 100 times greater power and at about half the frequeney range of a typical RF AVI system. 10


TABLE 1 Power and Frequency Level Comparison AVI SYSTEMS Optical/Infrared RF /Microwave Power (mmiwatts) Frequency (meiahem) 2-3 m W 40-50 mW Surface Acoustical Wave (SAW) 30 roW lOS-109 MHz 100-2,000 MHz 100-2,000 MHz 0.05-0.5 MHz Inductive Loop 100-1,000 mW OTHER COMMON SYSTEMS CB Radio 4,000 mW 27MHz M i crowave Oven 10S-1()6 mW 1,000-3,000 MHz "Ham" Radio 1Q3-t!f mW 1 -1,000 MHz Garage Door Opener 0.1-1 mW 200-1,000 MHz Cellular Telephone 500-5,000 mW 200-900 MHz Radio Control 500-1,000 m W 10-1,000 MHz AM Radio 1

CONFIGURATION For the most part, current A VI installations have been retrofitted to existing toll facilities but have generally been constrained by the design characteristics of these facilities. In addition, the market response to A VI has been approached with substantial uncertainty. With limited Jane capacity at existing toll plazas, agencies have been reluctant to remove a Jane from general use to dedicate it to A VI without a clear demonstration of demand sufficient to warrant removal of a lane from mixed traffic use. As a result, the common application has been for A VI traffic to operate in mixed lanes with non-A VI traffic. The prevailing line of reasoning has been that, at such time as A VI usage warrants, a lane could be removed from mixed use and dedicated to A VI. At existing toll plazas, even if reserved A VI lanes are provided, traffic operations, safety, and geometric constraints will substantially limit the speed at which A VI vehicles could travel through the toll plaza. There are, however, several new toll roads under design or construction which are fully integrating A VI technologies. In these installations, toll plaza configurations explicitly provide for A VI operations. This is generally accomplished with a substantial separation of the high speed A VI Janes from the mixed traffic lanes. It is anticipated that these facilities will permit A VI operation at high levels of precision at traffic speeds in excess of fifty miles per hour. ADMINISTRATION Ownership Most A VI vendors are flexible with respect to the administrative arrangement for ownership and operation of an A VI system. The toll agency /authority typically incorporates its desired administrative arrangement into the bid specifications. There are, however, two major administrative arrangements: "vendor owns and operates" and "agency owns and operates." In addition, other administrative arrangements can be established which divide responsibilities between the vendor and the agency. u


Vendor Qwns and Operates This ownership arrangement involves the toll authority hiring an independent contractor to administer the A VI program including installation, operation, administration, and maintenance. An example of this arrangement is the Dallas North Tollway, where Amtech Corporation, an independent contractor, operates the A VI system on this toll facility. Amtech is responsible for all aspects of the operation including equipment installation, equipment maintenance, A VI toll collection, and all other aspects of administration. The Tolltag license agreement specifically states that "the Texas Turnpike Authority is not a party to this agreement, and that it assumes no responsibility, legal or otherwise for the tag or the tag system, the issuance thereof or any billing or collection processes hereunder; all inquiries must be directed to Amtech, and none will be responded to or handled by the Authority." Aeency Qwns and Operates An agency can also choose to purchase an A VI system and operate this system independently. This administrative arrangement gives the toll agency complete control over the A VI system including operation, administration, toll collection, maintenance arrangements, and others. However, this also makes the toll agency completely accountable for the successes and/or failures of the system. Other Admjojstratjye Aan&ements Other administrative arrangements can be considered, depending on the degree of responsibility and accountability that the specific toll agency req uire s. One toll agency may require significant or complete control over some part of the administration and operation of the system such as the A VI toll collection process while another agency may want the vendor to handle toll collection. An example of this type of arrangement is Lee County where the A VI equipment is leased from Automatic Toll Systems, Inc. (ATS). The l ease includes a maintenance contract Payment 8,ystems There are three major areas to evaluate when considering the payment systems: premium tolls vs. discounted tolls, pre-payment system vs. post-payment system, and the actual method of payment (cash, check, credit card). A VI systems around the world operate under various payment systems which involve different variations and combinations of these three categories. 13


Premium Toll ys. Discount Toll There are two opinions regarding how much users should pay for A VI services; some believe that users of A VI should pay a premium for these special services, while others believe that users should be encouraged to use A VI by offering a discount on services. There are valid arguments for each position. The A VI user realizes many benefits including time savings, convenience, and even prestige. For that reason, many believe that users should be charged a premium since they receive the direct benefits of A VI use. However, others suggest that benefits are not only realized by A VI users but by all users of the system. A VI increases mobility through toll plazas, which results in time savings for A VI users and non-A VI users alike In addition, the community benefits from reduced construction costs, fuel savings, and less air pollution. Therefore, in order to realize these community benefits, some believe that toll facility users should be encouraged to use A VI by offering them discounted tolls. Pre-Payment ys, Post -Payment The majority of current A VI systems operate under a pre payment system. That is, A VI users set up an account with a positive balance by either a direct pre-payment (cash/ check) or with a credit card. When users pass through a toll booth, the toll is debited from this account Alternatively, a system can operate under a post-payment system where individuals using A VI receive a monthly bill for the amount of tolls that are due based on system use in the previous month (similar to a telephone bill). Method of Payment -There are two methods of payment: cash/check or credit card. Most A VI systems accept both methods of payment but the credit card appears to be the preferred alternative. The use of a credit card requires the A VI user to make a trip to an A VI outlet only once. At that time, a transponder can be purchased and an account can be opened with the credit card. An agreement can be signed allowing automatic replenishment of the account when it reaches a specified minimum. The user will not need to make another trip to the A VI outlet, and an adequate balance is assured. This is not necessarily the case if the user opens an account with cash/ check. Any cash/ check method requires some level of effort from the user on a occasional basis, whether it be visiting the A VI outlet or taking the time to mail a check. Experience of existing operators indicates that cash accounts tend to inadvertently lapse, resulting in higher administrative costs and generally lower effectiveness The use of a credit card eliminates all effort from the user beyond the initial application. 14


IV. EXISTING TOLL ROAD APPLICATIONS OF AVI This section describes the A VI systems that exist at the present time. Specifically, a brief description of each system is included, along with a summary of technology, a review of methods of payment, and other key issues associated with each operation. Figure 2 illustrates where these existing A VI applications are located across the United States. FIGUREZ Existing Toll Road Applications of A VI In the United States DALLAS NOR1H TOLLWAY Dallaa North ,_.....,:rollway The Texas Turnpike Authority, which built and operates the Dallas North Tollway, has contracted with Amtech Corporation for the installation and operation of an electronic toll collection system on the Toll way. Installation of the system was completed at the end of Jul y 1989 The system operates over the entire length of the Tollway, which is approximately 14 miles in length, with another three miles under construct ion. The system includes 62 toll stations equipped with coin counting and A VI equipment, encompassing all of the Tollway's 14 toll collection stations and plazas. 15


Under the terms of the Texas Turnpike Authority agreement with Amtech, as well as the terms of the Amtech TollTag license agreement with subscribers, the Authority assumes no responsibility for the tag or the tag system. The application for a TolJTag explicitly holds the Authority free of obligation to the subscriber. In fact, the agreement notes that the Authority will not respond to inquiries regarding the ToliTag system. In the short time period between July 1989 and April 1990, use of the system has grown to the point that over 21,000 A VI tags have been issued. On a weekly basis, A VI represents about 13 percent of the transactions on the Tollway. For peak periods of traffic flow, approximately 20 percent of the traffic consists of A VI users. Since its inception, the Dallas North Tollway system bas operated in mixed traffic lanes, with TollTag vehicles sharing lanes with other traffic. With the rapid growth of participation in the TollTag system, the feasibility of dedicated lanes is being currently investigated. Tecbnoloc The system utilizes Amtech Corporation's TollTag, which makes use of a radio frequency (RF) technology, which includes tags, antennas, RF modules, readers, and software. TollTags are actually small transponders that reflect and modify continuous radio wave signals. Antennae broadcast and receive radio frequency signals generated by RF modules. The RF modules also precondition and amplify returning signals prior to relaying them to a reader. Readers eontrol the RF modules. They receive the signals from the antenna and RF module and transmit the data to a host eomputer or other logging device. It is important that the TollTag be mounted eorrectly so that its polarity is aligned with the system antenna. the tagged vehicle approaches an antenna, the antenna broadcasts a radio frequency signal. The tag modifies a portion of the signal and reflects it back to the antenna. This reflected signal carries the identification code for the object. The antenna transmits the returning signal to the RF module where it is then preconditioned and amplified before being sent to the reader. The reader interprets the ID code from the signal and validates the ID code. The reader stores ID eodes in an internal storage buffer and then transmits the ID eodes to a host computer or other data logging device. 16


The Authority required that the system designed for the Dallas North Tollway include a camera system for Jane runners. The video system records any toll violations in the assigned lane. The vehicle license plate is matched against the Department of Motor Vehicles record and a letter is sent to the owner of the vehicle The Authority reports that there have been no violations resulting from the A VI tags not being read. Method of Payment The basic toll rates on the Dallas North Tollway vary over a wide range, based on the location and the vehicle classification Passenger car fees at the two mainline toll barriers are 50 cents, with ramp tolls ranging from 25 cents to 40 cents. Subscribers to the A VI system are required to maintain a prepaid toll and license fee to cover applicable tolls and charges. When an application for a TollTag is submitted, a $40 prepaid fee must be included When the vehicle passes through a toll booth, a fee equal to the applicable toll charged by the Authority plus a five cent transaction charge is deducted from the account, except that no more than $6 in transaction charges will be charged per Tag each month. In addition, a $2 per month charge is made for each Tag as a system access charge, effectively defraying the cost of the transponder. If requested by the subscriber, Arntech will furnish a monthly itemization of transactions at a fee of $1.50 per month for up to three TollTags per account. Subscribers can maintain their accounts as either credit card or cash users. Credit card users can utilize MasterCard, VISA, or American Express. They sign an agreement with Amtech authorizing that, when their balance decreases to $10, their credit card will automatically be charged an additional $40, bringing their balance up to nearly $50. For customers, when the account balance decreases to $10, it must be increased either by mail or in person. Payment must reach the TollTag office before the balance declines to SO. Figure 3 indicates Amtech's system of information signals, which inform the driver when a valid read has been obtained, when the balance drops below $10, and when there is a problem that must be resolved before the TollTag will be accepted. 17


FIGURE3 Amtech Driver Information System Ul Unitin1 Applkati<>M will Tecl>nown An ton tanes ate wth a special yellOw .,... liQhl on tne canopy. wnen t111 ytltow light is Otl.lhis indicates 1!'111 may be tne l ane Uu "lY t.tnes riP thft ygUpw T IQOC on. u yout account is vaJid, you will rtc.ive a light thai says "VAI.ID TAG GO". You shOuld also rectNe ttte notmal green 1'HANK YOlr lgnL Forlll.r; --Smph .,_ , 1/IIOUQh 1110 tollH there is a question concerning your ac:coun1. you wil,...i .. l>olll alight that says 'VALlOT AG GO". and aBo OM IN! UyS -cALL TAG OFFlCF'. This you propay wllll c:uh 111c1 your propaid !HI -!>flow $10 0< (b) 111M is a QUOS lion -min; you< c:redil eaRS. cormuo llltOulcolllad 1110 Toli'Tag" Olflce as soonupos-. K you propay Willi cash, and you havO failed 10 replonish you< bOJanco l:lftoftlflt ptepo;d ... ha ,._SO. you wilrocolo 1110 lgll 11\allays "CAU. TAG OFFICE". In rtlr. ..-. you tmm/WY 1110 toll In ea/1 all/If toll WW. COnlacllflt ToiTag" Olfic .. illlet in pe""" 0< by pnono u soon u .,..-. n )'OU ....ceNt ntlntttM -vAUDTAG90" nor lilt "CALl. TAGOFFICE"IIglt. yourTOITag"is not t>Hlg rocognlzed aa vuo by 1110 ToiiTag" Rt-. Ill Ill# .... you-poy 1110 1011111 ..., at lllf 101-NoiTnal IIIIo oa;urs whtn a Sl*ili: T .. Tag" lias llftn 10ponod lost ., "" T oiiT aQ" nao been ;.,..,ropeny inSWiod COI'IId tiW ToiiTag' Office tihtf in penon or by praone as soon as poUI:IIe 10 resoHe uw ptCOtom. 18 Signs/ Lights Using Toi/Tags"


Issues The A VI system on the Dallas North Tollway has been widely acclaimed as the most successful application in the United States. By all accounts, the system has proven very popular; the Texas Turnpike Authority is extremely pleased with the system, and the r e is generally an air of euphoria about the system. A major advantage cited by the Authority is the positive impact the system has had on the processing capacity of their toll booths Prior to the imp lementa tion of the A VI system they were typically processing 350 to 400 vehicles per hour per lane. They recently noted that the 8 or 10 toll booth lanes which are processing the most traffic are all unattended lanes with a high proportion of A VI users. Of these lanes, which are processing 700 to 750 vehicles per hour, over 40 percent of the peak period traffic is using A VI. The authority feels they have demonstrated a high degree of correlation between process ing rate and proportion of users with ToliTags. Their expectation is that with ded i cated A VI lanes they could process 1200 to 1500 vehicles per hour. They also anticipate that, if they created dedicated lanes, they would see a dramatic increase in the use of A VI. Part of the enthusiasm about the Dallas system is its reliability, which has been indicated as approaching 100 percent. Indeed, the Authority has stated that there have been llQ violations resulting from TollTag misreads. This claim is difficult to either dispute or confirm. If a vehicle passes through a lane without either paying a toll or registering a TollTag transaction, it is unclear how the monitoring system can distinguish between a misread and an intentional violation. Report edly there were recently thousands of letters sent to toll road users (both A VI and non-A VI) citing them as violators, based on the newly installed camera system. Apparently, there was a local uproar, as many claimed that they had not violated and the system was in error. Another major feature of the application of A VI to the Dallas North Tollway is the contracting out of not only the installation but also the operation. This practice has placed the entire risk on the private sector and has minimized the role of the Authority staff in the AVI system. 19


A final characteristic of importance is that the Dallas North Tollway has priced A VI as a premium service. Those that desire to participate must pay a monthly fee, a transaction fee, and if desired, a monthly statement fee. It is important to distinguish berween the technological features of the Dallas installation and the specific methods of implementation. NEW ORLEANS The Greater New Orleans (GNO) Bridge, or the "Crescent City Connection," currently consists of rwo parallel bridge spans of four and six lanes each. The four-lane west bank span has no tolls, and the six-lane east bank (toward greater New Orleans) span is a toll facility, with a 12-lane, fully A VI-equipped toll plaza. The east bank span currently utilizes three of its 12 lanes for A VI and exact change only (unmanned); the remaining nine lanes are manual. Beginning June 6, 1990, one of the three A VI/exact change lanes will be converted to an exclusive A VI lane with an automatic gate. According to Gulf Systems, Inc., this system is capable of maintaining 10-15 mile per hour lane average running speeds through the plazas. If successful, the other rwo A VI/exact change lanes will also be converted to exclusive A VI. The six-lane east bank bridge handles approximately 60,000 vehicles a day. Since the A VI system began in January 1988, 12,518 A VI tags have been purchased. Regular toll rates are 50 cents per axle; A VI patrons receive a discount at 35 cents per axle. Gulf Systems Inc. (GSI) manages the toll facility at the GNO Bridge. Since system inception, 25 million toll crossings have been recorded with over five million paid through A VI. Ted!nology GSI recommended that Am tech instal l the A VI system at the GNO Bridge. This Amtech system uses radio frequency (RF) energy to convey information from one point to another. The basic Amtech system consists of a reader system (i.e. reader, RF module and antenna). The RF module transmits an unmodulated signal in the direction of the tag. The tag then reflects a modulated signal back to the RF module which relays this information to the reader. The reader decodes this information and sends it to the host computer for identification and toll processing. The tag is not a transmitter and does not contain 20


components to generate RF signals. The tag acts as a field disturbance device, slightly altering the signal which establishes a unique identification code. Method of Payment The tag store system automatically bills or replenishes each account when the balance drops below $10. If a credit card is used, toll payments are prepaid. If payment is made with cash, toll fees must be replenished in person at the tag store, through the mail by check, or credit card authorization by phone. There are no service fees passed on to patrons, but toll tags cost $40 (plus a $25 refundable deposit). The A VI system is interfaced with the GSI automated toll collection system. All transact i ons are handled through one system and recorded on one database. Audit reports are compiled by day, shift, and collector. Issues Violation rates are approximately one out of every 100 A VI users. Most violations are due to patrons having a negative balance on their accounts. Other violations have been caused by defective A VI tags, A VI lane equipment, or lost/stolen tags. No detailed studies of A VI violations have been documented to determine the extent of this apparent minor problem. During the recent past, so-called dedicated A VI lanes were shared with manual lanes. The three A VI lanes on the east bank span of the GNO Bridge are now shared with exact change (unmanned) lanes. A founh A VI/exact change lane for the six-lane east bank span was examined but determined to be unfeasible based on traffic demands SAN DIEGO-CORONADO BAY BRIDGE An average of 50,000 vehicles per day commute across the 11,179-foot-long San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge. Opened in August 1969, the bridge has experienced increasing traffic volumes, resulting in increased delays due in pan to conventional toll collection methods. As a result, a six-month test of A VI was initiated in October 1988. The purpose of this test 21


was to determine the feasibility of implementing an A VI system at each of the other nine toll bridges in the state, including seven bridges in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Coronado A VI project began with 1,000 volunteer users but, as of May 1990, has approximately 400 active users Most of the original 1,000 users were Navy personnel stationed at the nearby base. The San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge's Electronic Toll Collection was the first of its kind in the state of California. The overall goals of the A VI system included: Development of an electronic toll collection system that is easy to use and reliable and will encourage commuters to participate. Reduction of toll collection costs. Reduction in traffic congestion on the bridge. Technoloev The Coronado system employs an A VI technology developed by X-CYfE Corporation and is based on acoustical wave technology tags which ean be remotely read by radio frequency (RF) readers. Each RF tag is assigned a unique number so vehicles ean be identified as they pass through the toll booths. Science Applieations International Corporation (SAIC) is the vendor that was hired to install and maintain this A VI technology on the Coronado Bridge. Each A VI user has an electronic tag about the size. of a credit card that is attached to the lower-left-hand comer of the vehicle windshield. As the vehicle approaches a toll plaza, a transmitter sends out a radio signal that bounces off the tag and back to a receiver without the vehicle having to stop. The vehicle identifieation process takes less than a second. The transmitter power level is only one-half watt. Method of Payment A VI users can choose among three methods of payment as opposed to paying the usual $1.00 toll: prepaid account, monthly bill, or credit card. A prepaid account allows the user to purchase increments of 20 trips for only $12.00, a savings of $8.00. The user may also 22


choose to be billed on a monthly basis after the fact (much like a tel ephone bill), or the user may choose to have the tolls charged directly to a Visa or MasterCard on a monthly basis at a toll rate of 60 cents per trip, a savings of 40 cents per trip. The credit card billing format is defined by the credit card clearinghouse and is generated periodically as required by CALTRANS accounting procedures. Typically, a set amount, such as $30 to $50, is either charged to the credit card in advance, or the set amount is accrued before being charged to the credit card. The cost of a transponder is $30 but none of this cost is passed on to the user since it is still considered a demonstration project. Issues The Coronado A VI system is one of the few systems that offers a post-payment plan where users can choose to receive a monthly bill. They have not indicated any problems with this method of payment. It would be interesting to determine why the number of current A VI users on the Coronado Bridge is so low. The system began with over 1,000 A VI users but has dwindled to just 400 active users This decline in usage is likely a result of significant participation of Navy personnel who commute to the nearby base. As a result, many users have moved from the area since the program's inception. GROSSE ILE BRIDGE Grosse lie, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Detroi t, has two, two-lane, two-way bridges that provide the only access to this island, which is primarily residential with nearly 3,500 homes. The northernmost point of the two bridges is a toll facility equipped with A VI technology. The second bridge is toll free, but due to its Jack of convenience carries only about one-third of the total traffic to the is land. Tes:hnoloc The Grosse lie Bridge Company, a private firm, completed its installation of the A VI system in May 1989. The technology selected for installation was X-CYTE Inc., which provides a 23


surface acoustical wave (SAW) technology. Existing daily traffic on the A VI-equipped bridge is about 6,000. On a typical day, approximately 65 percent of the toll collection on this bridge is through A VI. A total of 2,900 A VI tags have been purchased. A VI was chosen to replace tokens and visual prepaid passes. Toll c:ollec:tion, whether by attendant or A VI, is performed in the center of the bridge from both lanes. Method of Pavment The current toll fare is 75 cents and the A VI toll fare is 50 cents. A time of day discount has recently been imp lemented for A VI patrons, which reduces the toll rate to 40 cents between 10 a.m and 3 p.m. only. Each A VI tag has a refundable deposit of $15, and each A VI account may be issued multiple tags. The toll tag remai ns the property of Grosse lle Bridge Company and the $15 is kept in a separate account (not used as credit toward toll payment) Customers have the option to have their Visa or MasterCard used to automatically replenish their account when it drops below $5. When the account is replenished in this manner, $25 is charged. Issues Some resistance to A VI conversion has been experienced and is thought to be related to the issue of privacy. The goal for ultimate A VI conversion is 80 percent of total bridge traffic. Speed through the toll plaza area has also been a problem. Sequence timing for signal lights and gates have been reduced in order to slow down traffic:. PINELLAS BAYWAY The Pinellas Bayway is a series of causeways and bridges that connects the lower Gulf Beaches of Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg Beach, Tierra Verde, and Fort DeSoto Park, which is located around Boca Ciega Bay. There are three toll collection points on the 15.2-mile, T-shaped facility including the East Plaza, the West (Beach) Plaza, and the Fort Desoto Plaza. The distance from the West Plaza to the East P laza i s eight miles, while the distance from the East Plaza to the West Plaza is approximately four miles. 24


The East Plaza has two attended lanes and one unattended lane while the West and Fort Desoto Plazas each have one attended and one unattended lane. A VI is available on all lanes along the Bayway inc l uding both attended and unattended lanes. All lanes are equipped with gates Administration of the Bayway is handled by the FOOl's Office of Toll Operations. As of May 1990, there are 10,695 A VI passes in use on the Pinellas Bayway It is estimated that the number of A VI users comprises 30 percent of the total Bayway users Approxi m ately 907,000 vehicles used the facility in the month of March, which compu t es to an average daily usage of over 29,000. The A VI program is applicable t o two-axle automobiles, vans, and light trucks which are owned or leased. Other vehicles and those pulli ng trailers are charged a cash t o ll based on the number of axles greater than two; these veh i cles do not qualify for A VI. T echnololl)' The Bayway operates the A VI technology developed by LazerData Corporation This technology uses an optical laser scanner designed for bar code reading where a wide scan angle and/or long reading range is required A 3" x 4.5" decal, which is an adhesive-covered label printed with a bar code similar to those found on products i n retail stores, is attached to the rear side window on the driver's side of the vehicle or to the driver's win dow of a truck or van. The scanning process is completed in less than one quarter of a second as the vehicle passes through the toll plaza and the toll gat e is opened. The system requi res only two milliwatts of power to operate A significant advantage of this technology is the inexpensive tag; the cost of the bar code tag is estimated at less t han $1.50. l.azerData reports that vehicles traveling at speeds as high as 55 miles per hour can be scanned depending upon the size of the bar code The required range of distance fo r the bar code to be scanned is two feet at a minimum and 8-10 feet at a maximum. This technology processes data at 2.5 mill iseconds per character and can store up t o 32 labels. Method of Payment The Bayway offers two types of A VI passes: a Commuter Annual Pass (available to anyone) zs


and a Bayway Isle Annual Resident Pass (available to residents of the Bayway Isle, Point Brittany, and Isla Del Sol). The commuter pass can be purchased for $50 per year per vehicle, while the Bayway family pass may be purchased by qualified residents at a cost of $15 per year ($15 covers all vehicles owned by that family). The commuter pass permits unlimited passage through all three Bayway plazas over the course of the year, and the resident pass permits unlimited passage through the Eastern Terminus only. Both passes have standard years specified for usage; the commuter pass runs from October 1 to September 30 and the resident pass runs from July 1 to J une 30. The use of a standard year means that the passes cannot be prorated if purchased in mid-year. As of May 1990, there are 8,141 Commuter Annual Passes and 2,554 Bayway Isle Annual Resident Passes in use. Issues Some concern has been voiced regarding whether this technology can operate reliably under adverse weather conditions. If a bar code is blocked by rain, snow, dirt, etc., the scanner may be unable to read the tag However this does not appear to be an issue on the Bayway since the number of misreads is estimated at only one-half of one percent. This measurement was estimated by attendant observation in the attended lanes only; there are no estimates of the number of misreads for the unattended lanes. TREASURE ISLAND The City of Treasure Island operates an A VI system similar to that which is operated on the Pinellas Bayway, although they have recently installed a new laser scanner reader. The system consists of a single toll plaza with two east lanes and two west lanes, all of which are equipped for A VI use. Approximately 16,000 A VI passes are purchased annually for use on this facility. The system currently used is provided under a lease agreement by Automatic Toll System, Inc. Tes:hnoloe;x The City of Treasure Island also operates the optical/bar code technology on its A VI system. 26


Method or Payment Current toll rates on the Treasure Island toll facility are 35 cents for two-axle vehicles, 60 cents for three-axle vehicles, 85 cents for four-axle vehicles, and $1.10 for five-axle vehicles. The cost of an A VI pass is $15.00 per calendar year (January 1 to December 31), which permits unlimited use of the system. All passes must be purchased under a pre-payment system at the City Hall. Issues The Treasure Island facility was one of the first toll plazas in Florida to use optical scanners to read bar code tags. Because the system has been available for a significant amount of time the system is well-known and therefore widely-used. However, it is difficult to estimate the violation rates at the Treasure Island facility mainly because there are no gates on any of the lanes. System violation rate is estimated at 5 to 10 percent but the violation rates for A VI users and non A VI users cannot be extracted from this estimate. LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA Lee County has two toll facilities currently in operation, the Sanibel Causeway and the Cape Coral Bridge. The Sanibel Causeway connects the mainland with Sanibel Island. The toll plaza is located on the mainland side of San Carlos Bay and is comprised of two manned booths and one unattended lane. Tolls are collected in one direction only, as motorists are travelling to Sanibel Is land. The Cape Coral Bridge connects Fort Myers and Cape Coral with parallel span, high-rise bridges. The toll plaza is located on the Fort Myers side of the Caloosahatchee River and consists of four manned booths and six unattended lanes, with two of the latter being reversible. Tolls are collected in both directions. The norrnal toll rate on the Sanibel Causeway is $3.00 for two-axle vehicles, $1.50 for each additional axle, and $1.00 for motorcycles. As noted above, tolls are collected only in one direction, so these rates effectively represent round tri p tolls. Toll rates o n the Cape Coral Bridge amount to 75 cents for two-axle vehicles, $2.25 for 3-axle vehicles, 75 cents for additional axles, and 50 cents for motorcycles. 27


Technoioc Lee County first installed an A VI system on its toll facilities in 1988 and has since made several upgrades to the system. The system was first installed on the Sanibel Causeway, and only recently on the Cape Coral Bridge. Both locations utilize a computerized laser scanner system in conjunction with an A VI binary sticker. The toll equipment and computer system are provided by Automatic Toll Systems, Inc. and by Lazerdata Corporation, a subcontractor of A TS. Use of the A VI system is limited to two-axle vehicles. The A VI system has been leased for an initial period of seven years, and system maintenance is built into the lease arrangement. Currently at the Sanibel Causeway the one automatic Jane is for those with A VI stickers There are no dedicated A VI lanes on the Cape Coral Bridge. Method of Pavment A range of A VI purchase options are provided, which distinguish between the facility and the time period. For the Sanibel Causeway, an annual sticker, for the period November 1 through October 31, is available at a cost of $150 per year, which requires no payment at the toll booth. There is also an annual sticker at a price of $25, which requires a coin drop of 50 cents. A six month sticker is available (good either November through April or May through October) at a cost of $90 for full payment, or $15 plus a coin drop of 50 cents. On the Cape Coral Bridge, the annual sticker sells for $250 per year for full payment, or $40 per year with a $.35 coin drop. The six month sticker sells for $150 for full payment, or $24 plus a $.35 coin drop. Combination stickers are also offered, which can be used on either the Sanibel Causeway or the Cape Coral Bridge. The annual fee for the combination sticker is $300 per year for full payment, or $50 per year with a coin drop. The six month combination sticker costs $180 for full payment or $30 plus a coin drop. In fiscal year 1989, there were 33,689 stickers sold for use at the Sanibel Causeway, while the Cape Coral Bridge had not opened. In fiscal year 1990, for the period through March, sticker sales amounted to 22,608 for the Sanibel Causeway, 7,543 for the Cape Coral Bridge, and 4,982 combinations. 28


For the period October 1989 through March 1990, average daily traffic on the Sanibel Causeway was 9,543, with 1,956 (20.5 percent) of them A VI users I nterestingly, this percentage was constant for peale periods, also representing about 20 percent of users. For the same time period, the average daily traffic on the Cape Coral Bridge amounted to 34,674, with A VI users accounting for 10,087 (29 percent). During peak periods, A VI use accounts for about 35 percent of the traffic on the Cape Coral Bridge. When first installed, misreads of A VI stickers were in the range of five to six percent. Through continual adjustment and refinement to the equipment, the rate of misread or non read stickers has dropped to two to three percent. When an A VI sticker is not read, a toll employee assists the patron through the plaza after vital sticker information is recorded. Issues Generally, Lee County seems to be very pleased with the performance of their system. DELAWARE RIVER PORT AUTHORI1Y The Delaware River Port Authority owns and operates four toll bridges in the greater Philadelphia area. The Walt Whitman Bridge has 22 Janes, of which 10 are manual and 12 are A VI/exact change. The Benjamin Franklin Bridge has 19 lanes, of which 9 are manual and 10 are A VI/exact change. The Betsy Ross Bridge contains 16 lanes, of which 8 are manual and 8 are A VI/exact change. Finally, the Commodore Barry Bridge has 10 lanes which includes six manual lanes and four A VI/exact change lanes. During April 1990, monthly traffic on all four bridges was 7.65 million. A VI patronage on all four bridges for this same period was 2.32 million, or 30 percent of the total traffic. The approximate number of A VI "stickers" sold on all four bridges for April 1990 was 54,000. Technoloe,y The A VI technology used by the Delaware River Port Authority is tbe bar coded sticker produced by LazerData Corporation. This sticker is placed on the driver's side window and Z9


is valid for 30 days from the day of purchase. A laser scanner is used to read the bar code identification for each vehicle, which is displayed in lines of varying widths and/or colors. Method oC Payment Payment for A VI stickers is handled at designated manual toll collection lanes at each bridge. The initial price for the sticker is $14, and then 25 cents for each subsequent bridge crossing. As mentioned previously, the sticker is valid for 30 days and requires the patron to use the exact change lanes only where the laser scanners have been installed to read the bar coded sticker. Over the duration of 30 days, a discount is realized by an A VI user if more than 21 bridge crossings are made. The more bridge crossings above 21 per month that are made, the greater the discount realized compared to the normal toll rate. Issues The Delaware River Port Authority has been able to reduce the number of toll collectors required since A VI has been installed because of the conversion to an equal number of A VI/exact change lanes. Before A VI, commuter ticket books were used, which were also good for 30 days. Approximately 55 percent of the bridge commuters used these ticket books. However, now that A VI has been implemented, commuter usage of the discount system has dropped to 30 percent. This is likely a result of decals being non-transferable whereas ticket books could be shared. As a result, there is tighter control over the commuter fare discount. PORT AUTHORI'IY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY The Lincoln Tunnel A VI lane is the only A VI facility currently operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This AVI system is used by buses only, and was established to expedite bus movement only entering Manhattan on weekday mornings. The buses arrive at the A VI Jane after travelling 1.5 miles on a dedicated contraflow lane for buses only. Approximately 3,000 buses are equipped with A VI, and about 1,800 A VI transactions are 30


recorded per weekday. A VI tags are mounted externally on bus roofs. Two lanes are equipped with A VI readers, with the primary A VI lane located on the extreme inside of the toll plaza while the other A VI lane is the adjacent conventional toll lane (also used as a failure backup to the primary A VI lane). Technoloey The A VI system at the lincoln Tunnel was supplied by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which installed Amteeh readers and tags (i.e., RF technology). This A VI system replaced a difficult to manage system which collected bus tolls based on published rate schedules. Method or Payment Bus companies prepay based on expected usage, and are required to maintain a positive account. Non-A VI buses are charged $3 regardless of the number of axles. A VI bus tolls are discounted to $2.70. No A VI service fees are passed on to patrons. All toll rates are proposed to increase this year. Is sues Problems still exist regarding unauthorized or untagged vehicles using the A VI lane. These violations consist primarily of buses not in the A VI program. An inductive loop in the lane detects violators by triggering video recording to occur. when a bus without proper A VI is recognized. Bus company identification and vehicle number can usually be observed from the video. NASSAU COUN'IY BRIDGE AUTHORITY The Nassau County Bridge Authority operates a 4-lane, double-leaf bascule bridge over Reynolds Channel, between the villages of Lawrence and Atlantic Beach. This bridge is located on the far west end of Long Island, about 12 miles southeast of Brooklyn. This bridge is also primarily used by commuter traffic. The 11-lane toll plaza has four lanes in 31


tbe southbound direction, five lanes in tbe northbound direction (toward Brooklyn), and two center lanes that are reversible to expedite peak direction traffic. Two lanes in each direction that previously required exact change have been retrofitted with A VI in April, 1990. The average daily traffic is approximately 20,000. Technoloey The A VI system installed in the four lanes is tbe laser scanner (bar code) technology. An automatic gate system has also been incorporated in the A VI lanes to control speed and reduce run-thru situations. The scanners and bar code stickers were supplied by LazerData, and Automatic Toll Systems, Inc. (A TS) has been contracted for the installation and maintenance of the automatic collection system and laser scanners. Methods of P!I)'TI!ent Three choices of payment are offered to the bridge crossing patrons. The normal fare rate is 75 cents, a monthly ticket book (40 trips) costs $10, or an annual A VI sticker (unlimited crossings) can be purchased for $65. The annual A VI stickers go on sale starting in the montb of December and are paid for before the sticker is affiXed to the vehicle. One transfer of the A VI sticker is pennitted during the calendar year for a service fee of $5. The initial order from LazerData was for 5,000 A VI stickers, however only 3,830 have been purchased by commuters to date. The Bridge Authority reports 30% of total daily traffic over the bridge utilizes A VI. Issues Following the installation of the A VI system, ticket book printing and auditing costs have been reduced by $12,000. Since this A VI system has been in full operation for only about 70 days, the Bridge Autbority is still in tbe debugging stage of the installation. However, tbe Bridge Authority has noticed that toll plaza congestion has decreased and traffic flow is much improved following A VI installation. 32


MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTIIORI1Y Currently the only facility within the Authority which operates with A VI capability is the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (U.S. Highway 40) located in Penyville, Maryland about 25 miles northeast of Baltimore This 1 6-mile bridge crosses the Susquehanna River and is parallel to Interstate 95. This eight-lane toll bridge has two lanes in each direction that are designated A VI Decals Only." Also, there are now plans to widen the 50-year old bridge to 10 lanes, with all lanes equipped for A VI. During the month of January 1990, total traffic over the bridge was 616 451. Tes:hnoioex The technology utilized is an optical system that uses an incandescent light reader that extractS vehicle identification information from bar coded decals. The A VI equipment has been integrated with the existing A TS system Method o f Payment According to the Authority, an A VI decal is good for six months unlimited passage and can be purchased for only $2. Annual purchases of these decals range between 100,000-120,000 decals. I ssues The Thomas J Hatem Memorial Bridge is one of several toll facilities governed by the Maryland Transportation Authority. The Authority has tested the 3M X-CYI'E technology (surface acoustical wave) and is currently testing Amtecb (RF) equipment. According to the Authority, A VI at the Thomas J. H atem Bridge has not been a profitable venture and in general there appears to be skepticism regarding the reliability of A VI. 33


V. PENDING TOLL ROAD APPLICATIONS OF AVI This section lists and describes those systems known to be in varying stages of pend ing A VI imp l e m entation. This listing is not meant to be complete, but it does exemplify the extent and magnitude of this emerging technology as it applies to toll collection. Figure 4 illustrates many of the pending toll road applications across the United States and in Puerto Rico. FIGURE4 Pending Toll Road Applications or A VI in the United States r EOrange u ty Californ i DULLES FASTOLL PROJECI' Rickenbacker Causeway Puerto Rico The Dulles Toll Road is located in nonhero Virginia, in the suburbs of Washington,D.C.. This 13-mile east-west toll facility, which opened in October 1 984, connects the Washington, D C Beltway (1-495) with Dulles Airport. In the median of this toll facility is a four-lane, d i vided free airport access road which was built by the Metropolitan Airport Authority and preceded the Dulles Toll Road Currently handling over 125,000 vehicles per day the original four-lane, divided toll road is now being widened to four lanes in each direction. 34


In order to meet the explosive traffic growth, the Virginia Department of Transponation organized an A VI and Electronic Toll Collection task force in 1987. The objectives of this task force were to increase throughput (reduce delays at toll plazas), gain tighter audit control, and implement a "fastoll" system that would be compatible with conventional toll collection on all government and private ly-operated highways. At this time, the Dulles Toll Road is planned to be extended to Leesburg, essentially doubling its existing length Two major milestones have been completed on the Dulles Fastoll Project. The feasibility and concept development phases have been accomplished. Detailed design, procurement, testing, installation, and evaluation are anticipated to be completed by the end of 1991 or the beginning of 1992. PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMM ISSION The Pennsylvania Turnpike, previously on a ticket system for toll collection, is expected to be implementing A VI to some degree within 18 months. They have tested Eureka (inductive loop technology), and are now in the process of testing Vapor (microwave transmission technology). The testing program has been set up by issuing 70-100 A VI tags to Turnpike Commission employees for their use at two existing Turnpike interchanges in the Harrisburg Pennsylvania area. Each of these two interchange testing areas also have dedicated A VI lanes The only significant problem that has occurred during the testing phase has been interference between upstream loops in the approach pavement to the. toll plazas (previously in place) and the A VI antenna. The Turnpike Commission has established an A VI Committee composed of technical and administrative representatives from the Commission. An educational brochure has also been developed by the Commission for internal use. ILUNOIS STATE TOLL HIGHWAY AUTHORITY Over the last one and one-half years, the lllinois State Toll Highway Authority has used 60 non-revenue vehicles to test four different A VI systems, including Arntech, Eureka, SAIC 35


(acoustical wave technology) and 3M (X-CYTE) at a single toll plaza. The Authority is now preparing an A VI test system that will eventually go out to bid. This test program is expected to have 2,000 regular passenger vehicles participating in the program. It is expected that A VI will be located only at major urban area toll plazas. Initial installation of A VI is expected for mixed-use Janes only, with dedicated lanes at some future period. The Authority also anticipates A VI as a premium service and the transponder would be issued for a refundable deposit. In 1989, an A VI survey was administered to 1,100 existing lllinois toll highway users (generally commercial vehicle accounts). In summary, the results of this survey indicated that 69 percent would be moderately or very interested in A VI usage, 76 percent would prefer a transponder cost between $20-$35. E-470 PUBLIC HIGHWAY AlJTHORI1Y (DENVER) The E-470 facility is to be the eastern half of a beltway around the Denver metropolitan area. This future 48-mile, limited access highway will intersect Interstate 25 on the south end, provide direct access to the new Denver airport in the northeast portion of the metro area, and then intersect again with Interstate 25 north of Denver Major features of this proposed four-lane highway include five mainline toll plazas, approximately 40 ramp connection locations, 18 interchanges, and a headquarters administration building. The first phase segment of E-470 will be 5.5 miles in length, located at the extreme south end of the beltway, and will consist of one 10-lane plaza and six unattended ramps. This facility will be equipped for manual, automatic and A VI toll collection methods. The 3M Company has been selected as the A VI vendor for the planned system. Most importantly, the facility design will include two lanes in each direction exclusively for A VI operating at 55-60mph. Congestion pricing will also be implemented along E-470 as an incentive to bypass peak period traffic and to help in reducing pollution. The separated toll plaza for A VI will be canopy-like in appearance and generally unconventional compared to typical toll plazas. All system communication will be linked by fiber optics and an elaborate camera surveillance/security system will also be installed 36


throughout E-470. The first phase segment is expected to be open to traffic in December 1990. CALIFORNIA TOLL ROADS (ORANGE COUNTY) Three new toll roads are being planned fo r Orange County, California. These facilities will be completed in a phased construction program, with openings between 1993 through 1996. These three new toll facilities will be 17 miles, 28 miles, and 22 miles long, respectively There will be a total of 14 mainline toll plazas and 48 ramp toll booths. The A VI technology, specifications and method of payment have not been detennined at thi s time, however, all planning has been based on 60 percent A VI usage. Dedicated A VI l anes will be utilized throughout these facilities. High-speed A VI toll plazas will be off-line, similar to conventional weigh stations, and therefore A VI patrons will not go through or be affected by the regular toll plazas. The overall objectives of these new facilities will be to alleviate the severe traffic congestion problems in Orange County, to provide superior service to patro ns, and to develop an A VI system that will be c o mpatible with other State toll agencies. Reliability is also a vital issue to address according to the management group for the Orange County toll roads. Specifically, reliability is desired to be accurate to one error in 5,000, or preferably 10,000, transactions. Finally, according to a 1988 motorist survey that was perfonned in Orange County, it is expected that up to 500,000 A VI tags may be purchased. OKLAHOMA TURNPIKE AUTHORITY The Oklahoma Turnpike system is currently comprised of six rural interstate routes totalling 478 miles. Each route is a four-lane divided roadway and tolls are being collected at 15 mainline plazas (79 lanes), and 14 ramp plazas. Two of the turnpike routes operate as ticket systems, but these are in the process of being converted to barrier systems. Currently the entire turnpike system has 37.9 million transactions per year and, based on initial resu l ts f rom a user survey, 55 percent would use A VI (8.3 percent survey sample size). 37


Amtech has been selected as the vendor for the Oklahoma Thrnpike Authority. Amtech will provide services to Oklahoma that are similar to their Dallas North Tollway operation. The Authority bas started sending periodic press releases to their patrons to inform them of the pending A VI installation. The complete marketing program is being designed at this time. Just prior to the opening of the A VI system, the Authority will conduct a direct mail program to their current charge customers, registered owners of upscale vehicles and commercial vehicle companies to offer enrollment into the program. Two weeks prior to A VI operation, informational handouts will be distributed from all the toll booths. ORLANDO/ORANGE COUNTY EXPRESSWAY AUTIIORITY The Orlando/Orange County Expressway Authority is currently in the process of requesting proposals for the installation and operation of an upgraded toll collection system including A VI on its East-West Expressway as well as some extensions. The RFP states that the proposals should include, but not be limited to, "the project management, the design, installation, integration, inspection, testing, operation, maintenance and fmal system acceptance testing. Acceptable technologies include both the optical sca.nner and RF-type A VI systems. The East-West Expressway application is very similar to the Dallas North Tollway system, in that the traffic volumes are almost identical. However, the number of lanes in Orlando is slightly higher. Interfacing requirements will also be designed and fabricated to be compatible with the existing A TS (Automatic Toll System) equipment. Another critical element of system implementation will be the marketing and operation of a toll tag retail operation in the Orlando area. A total of 101 lanes are plarmed for staggered A Vl instanation. OTHER PENDING AVI SYSTEMS Throughout the country there arc other A Vl systems that are being planned or soon to be implemented. Some of these systems are the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami, the East Belt Highway in Houston, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in New Orleans, the Garden State 38


Parkway in New Jersey, and numerous new toll roads and bridges in Pueno Rico (privately funded). 39


VI. ISSUES RELA.TED TO TilE APPLICATION OF AVJ Through this review of A V I technology and of existing and proposed applications of A VI, several issues have been identified. As we proceed into the subsequent phases of the project, specific consideration will be given to each of these issues for Florida's Turnpike. The manner in which they are addressed will detennine the feasibility of A VI on the Turnpike and its ultimate configuration. The remainder of this technical memorandum provides brief summaries of each of the issues and the range of possible solutions. MARKET IDENTIFICATION Our expectation is that the principal markets for A VI will he regular commuters and high frequency commercial users (e.g., delivery services, local businesses, overthe-road truckers). Those sections of the Turnpike which include the highest proportion of frequent users should be viewed as the highest potential locations for A VI. Phase n of this project will focus on identifying the user characteristics on those portions of the Turnpike with the h i ghest proportion of five day-per-week users. This will be accomplished through a field data collection effort using a combination of a short interview and a mail-back questionnaire. Focus groups will also be convened to permit a high level of discrimination regarding features of an A VI system for the Turnpike. To the extent they are available, profiles of users of e,Usting A VI systems will be assembled. We would caution about inferring too much from the user profiles of other systems as the profiles are as much a function of the payment methods and the local social factors, as they are of the technology. BENEF I TS AND COSTS The ultimate decision as to whether or not to implement A VI on Florida's Turnpike needs to include a consideration of the benefits and the costs of doing so. As noted in the preceding sections, the benefits of A VI can be many: travel time savings for A VI users and 40


potentially for non-users, higher prOGessing rates through toll facilities, reduced air and noise pollution, reduced construction requirements at toll plazas, reduced labor costs, and a generally positive market image These benefits will need to be compared to the cost of constructing and operating A VI, and any other associated costs. In evaluating the benefits of A VI, a significant variable may be the comparative toll structure for non A VI transactions. For example, a 75 cent toll is likely to require a higher proportion of manual toll collectors than a 50 cent toll Further, the time for exact toll collection equipment to process a transaction is a direct function of the number of coins. Both o f these characteristics may have an impact on the comparative travel time savings of A VI. D EDICATED VS. M I XE D USE LANES A major design feature which significantly impacts the character of an A VI system is whether A VI vehicles operate in mixed traffic or in dedicated lanes. It appears that benefits t o A VI users, in the form of reduced delay at toll plazas, will be maximized by dedicating specific lane(s) as "A VI -only" lanes This configuration will allow a steady stream of A VI vehicles to pass through the toll plaza, perhaps without ever coming to a stop. If a dedicated lane is sufficiently separated from mixed traffic lanes, and the toll facility is properly designed, this stream of A VI vehicles can operate a t normal highway speeds of 50 to 60 miles per hour An important feature of dedicated A VI lanes is that the primary trave l time benefits accrue directly to A VI users If participation in an A VI program is sufficient, it is even possible that the dedication of a lane to A VI may result in reduced traffic congestion and less delay for those remaining in non-A VI lanes. As noted above, to achieve high speed dedicated lane operation, there must be sufficient separation of the A VI lane so that safety hazards are not introduced at the toll plaza. Because of this required separation for high speed operation, this configuration is most feasible for new toll road construction or for expansion of t oll plazas in areas with low cost right of way. To our knowledge there are no high speed dedicated A VI lanes currently in use in the United States, although they are being designed into some of the new facilities under construction. More commonly, as A VI has been retrofitted on existing toll roads, A VI vehicles have 41


operated in mixed traffic lanes. When A VI systems are initially implemented on existing facilities, there has been substantial uncertainty regarding the market impact of A VI. As a result, agencies have been reluctant to sacrifice a lane for exclusive use of A VI vehicles due to the pote n tial negative impact on remaining traffic. Interestingly, when A VI vehicles operate in mixed traffic lanes the benefits of reduced de l ay are substantially shared by non A VI vehicles. Although A VI vehicles may save three or four seconds when it is their tum at the toll booth, every vehicle in line also receives that same benefit. As A VI traffic has grown. certain facilities that initially installed mixed-use A VI lanes, are now considering the use of lanes dedicated exclusively to A VI There are some safety concerns associated with reserving a lane for A VI use through existing toll plazas. These are described in the following section. TRAFFIC SAFE1Y ISSUES Incorporating A VI into toll facilities requires special consideration of traffic safety. When dedicated and separated lanes are incorporated into toll roads as high speed A VI lanes, special design features are required. The limited experience in designing new facilities for A VI has produced designs that diverge the high-speed A VI lane one-half mile upstream from the toll plaza and merge it one-half mile downstream from the toll plaza. This design allows vehicles to be at comparable speeds when diverging and merging. High-speed A VI lanes are also designed with much more liberal side clearance allowances to accommodate the potential for greater side deviation at high speeds. The traffic safety issues are much more significant when retrofitting A VI into existing toll facilities In mixed traffic Janes there have been no apparent increases in accident history as a result of A VI, based on the observations of current operators of A VI systems. When incorporating dedicated A VI lanes into existing toll plazas, where the A VI lane would typically be adjacent to other lanes, there is more reason for concern. The potential for significant speed differentials between adjacent lanes causes some concern, as it constitutes one of the major contributing factors to traffic accidents We have some concern about the potential for accidents as vehicles approach the toll plaza and again as those starting from a stop try to merge with those cruising through. 42


If a lane is dedicated to A VI only, it is also likely to be more difficult for toll collectors to cross traffic lanes to get to their assigned toll booths. This can be a serious safety issue, as to ll collectors go about their daily functions of getting to and from their assigned stations. This consideration might generally increase the desirability of a toll plaza tunnel to anable collectors to get to their stations. As a minimum, it will dictate special design and operational considerations. I n addition, when vehicle breakdowns occur at a toll plaza, it may be more difficult to get the driver and passengers to safety in the presence of a steady-flow dedicated A VI lane. We are not aware of any empirical data from which to evaluate the significance of these safety-related issues. SPEED VS. ACCOUNTABILITI:' There is a need in the design of any A VI system to recognize the possible tradeoff between the speed and capacity advantage of A VI and the accountability for revenues collected. The FOOT Office of Toll Operations reports significant differences in violation rates with and without toll gates. Reportedly, without toll gates violation rates on the order of eight percent have been observed, whereas the presence of toll gates reduces violations to a fraction of one percent. Over the lifetime of a project, a significant shift in the violation rate can translate into millions of dollars in lost revenue. Certainly, high-speed A VI systems cannot use toll gates, and even in mixed traffic applications the presence of toll gates will reduce the real time savings of A VI techno logy significantly and will probably reduce the perceived advantage even more. It can be argued that violations are a separate issue from A VI. Indeed, ther e is evidence that use of camera systems to identify and prosecute violators can be an effective deterrent, whether A VI or standard toll collection technology is used. Nonetheless, i n the absence of toll gates, it appears that positive enforcement countermeasures will be important so that A VI does not encourage toll violations. This is an issue that will require further consideration as specific applications to Florida's Turnpike are evaluated. 43


LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS There are several legal considerations related to A VI implementation on Florida's Turnpike which will need to be addressed in Phase m. Our expectation is that none of these will present problems; however, they will be investigated. The current trust indenture for the Turnpike, as well as state statutes, are being reviewed to determine if there are any restrictions or limitations placed on A VI implementation. These may relate to tolerance for a higher violation rate, the use of photographic records for prosecution in violation cases, and the legality of requiring participants to use a credit card method of payment if they choose to participate in A VI. PAYMENT SYSTEMS All of the sYStems of which we are currently aware make use of a prepayment sYStem in one form or another with the exception of the San Diego Coronado Bridge which, in addition to offering pre-payment alternatives, offers a post-payment plan similar to a telephone bill format. The common use of optical scanner /bar code systems takes the form of an unl i mited usage pass with a fixed time period of validity. These systems require the payment in advance of a sometimes substantial dollar amount. For example, in the case of Lee County, Florida, A VI tags can cost several hundred dollars. However, the more recent applications of RF technology have typically included maintenance of a minimum balance in an account, which amounts to tens of dollars. To the extent that pre-payment of some form is an element of A VI sYStems, it seems that it will create a negative impact on potential usage. The alternative, a periodic post-payment for service used, would very likely increase usage. However, the issues related to collections, delinquent accounts, and the Turnpike's ability (or desire) to be a creditor may discourage the use of this method. As discussed in the section on administration, there are three major topics to evaluate when considering payment srstems, including premium tolls vs. discounted tolls, pre-payment sYStem vs. post-payment sYStem, and the actual method of payment (cash, check, credit card). Each A VI sYStem must make decisions regarding these topics in the process of developing their specific payment system. 44


Table 2 reviews selected operators with respect to the issues discussed previously in the payment systems section. This includes premium tolls vs. discounted tolls, pre-payment system vs. post-payment system, and the actual method of payment (cash, check, credit card) TABLEl Paymeat S)'lllems oC Selected AVI Operators Prtmlum Dlscouat Credit C8!Jb/ Pre-Post T o ll Toll Card Check Payment Paymtnt DaU8!J North Tollway I I I I 1M COIIDiy, FL' I I I New Orleans, LA I I I I Dtlaware Rlvtr Por1' I I I N Y./N.J. Por1 Authority .[ I I Gros .. Ml I I I I Corouado Bridge I I I I I PIMIIas Couaty, FL I I I Maryland Traas. Autb. I I I I 1AnnuaJ/Semi-anauaJ Oat fcc wbicb can J'C$ iD 1 di&count if a level of u&e i5 u.swne4. pc.r laC piU& 2S cents per C'l'055ing (replar toU90 c:eotl). unlimitod a&e for 30 dis.cowlt be realized if 23 or more tri_p are .-..ken "fitttin tbe 30 cllyl. c-eommu.tcr ADoual Pus-SSO per, Baywty Isle Ana\lal R.uident P SlS .OO pe1' year, discount i&; realized &$$Urt'li nc: mocJCta(C of \iSoe. Three basic criteria can be used to evaluate what is best for a given A VI payment system including the cost of implementation, the ease of implementation, and the patronage affects of implementation. These criteria are considered below. The intent of this discussion is not to provide a comprehensive evaluation of alternative payment systems but to provide an 45


introduction to the issues related to paymen t systems. A thorough evaluation is left for Phase m of the project. Cost of ImWementation Estimates of the monthly processing cost for each A VI account have been made for both the pre-payment (direct pre-pay and credit card) and post-payment systems (direct billing and credit card). These estimates are provided in Figure 5. The estimated costs include the following (where appropriate): postage/materials, billing/handling clerks, posting clerks, interest, credit card processing, and bad accounts The estimates provided in this figure are based on $25.00 in charges per month. $1.20 $1.00 $0.80 $0.60 $0.40 $0.20 FIGURES Monthly Processing Cost Per Account, Pre-Payment vs. Post-Payment Direct Pre-Payment Post-Payment Source : Regan, Edward l. Dl, A VI: Dollars and Sease", Presented at the International Bridge, ud Tunlpiltc Association Coufercnc:e, 1989. 46


These results suggest that a pre payment system is a less expensive method for processing A VI tolls. However, it should be recognize d that the processing cost per transaction varies significantly, depending upon the number of transactions in the billing cycle (usually a month). That is, for all payment sy stems economies of scale are realized as the number o f transactions increases within the billing cycle. Figure 6 illustrates the concept of economies of scale for each of the payment programs. FIGURE6 Prossing Cost Per A VI 'l'raDsaction Cents Per Transaction 10 --------------8 ---------------------2 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Transactions Per Month Poat-Pmt Direct Bill _,._ P r e -Pmt Cred i t Card -+Poat-Pmt Credit Card -ePre-Pmt Direct Bill 50 Source : Regan, Edward J m, "A VI; Dollals aDd Sease", Presented at the lntematiooal Bridge, and Turnpike Association Conference, 1989. 47


Ease of lmolementation The ease with which each payment program can be implemented may be an important consideration for the implementing agency. For example, a direct pre-payment program without monthly statements would be much easier to implement than a more sophisticated pre or post-payment program that uses credit cards and/or monthly statements Also, the use of a various cash account methods results in replenishment problems when the prepaid balances have been exhausted The ease of implementation may not be an important consideration depending upon the agency's philosophy and whether the agency decides to contract out the operation of the A VI system. Patronaee A1Tects of lmplementa!lon Although the cost of implementing a post-payment program is expected to be greater than a pre-payment program, a post-payment program is expected to result in greater A VI use. It is expected that the low frequency toll road user is more likely to participate in the A VI program if the post-payment program is implemented. The only cost borne by the A VI user "up-front" in this program would be the cost of the transponder. There are tradeoffs associated with the selection of any of the various payment methods For that reason, agencies evaluating the various A VI options must weigh the average cost per transaction with the ease of implementation and with the patronage affects of implementation. The final decision will depend upon the philosophy of the implementing agency with respect to the specific system where A VI is planned. Phase Ill of the project will include a more comprehensive consideration of these issues. The equity implications of who benefits and who pays will merit careful review as a potential system for Florida's Turnpike is evaluated POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS In our review we have found no evidence of health concerns related to A VI technologies. Although some of the systems reviewed expose the toll facility personnel and the user to low 48


levels of magnetic fields, the leve ls are well below any current standards established by national standards-setting organizations. For example, although the current state of the art RF technologies have power characteristics of 30 to 50 milliwatts, a typical car phone or band-held CB radio emits 4 watts of power. Nonetheless, as is the case with any new and emerging technology, it should be recognized that there is always the possibility for effects to be identified at some time in the future. ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE There have been concerns expressed by some about the potential for problems due to interference from external RF signals. However, it appears that the frequency bands used by current A VI systems are highly separated from radio frequencies of other sources of RF emissions and that radio interference should not present a problem for A VI systems. Perhaps of more concern than external interference is the potential for interference. between adjacent lanes of systems using RF broadcast fields. When an antenna sends out a signal, it is possible for that signal to be reflected by a vehicle in another lane. Similarly, it is possible for a transponder to reflect signals from two readers. Apparently, the design features of the RF-based systems prevent either of these misreads from occurring. 49


VII. SUMMARY This technical memorandum has presented the findings of Phase I of the project. It includes a review of A VI technology, current and pending applications to to ll facilities and to other t ransporta t ion applications, and has identified issues which will need to be addressed in the remainder of the project. As noted, there have been dramatic advances in the technology of A VI systems. As a result, more and more A VI systems are being implemented across the nation. Numerous toll authorities are currently evaluating, planning, and designing A VI systems. Generally, authorities operating A VI systems are very favorable about their experiences. Specific issues that need to be address ed in evaluating the potential for A VI on Florida's Turnpike include: market identification, benefits and costs, dedicated vs. mixed use lanes, traffic safety, speed vs. accountability,legal factors, payment systems, potential health effects, electrical interference, and ownership and operation of the system. Phase II of the project will consist of surveys of users of Florida's Turnpike, as well as interpretation o f surveys performed of current users of existing A VI systems. It will be primarily aimed at assessing the characteristics of users of Florida's Turnpike and determining to what extent they are likely to be inter ested in A VI. Finally Phase ill of the project will determine the feasibility of implementing an A VI system on all or part of Florida's Turnpike. This will be accomplished by considering each of the identified issues and rela ting it specifically to the Turnpike. so


Vlll. APPENDIX A. Survey Letter To A VI Vendors B. List Of A VI Vendors C. Survey Letter To A VI Operators D. List Of A VI Operators E. Bibliography Of A VI Technology 51


A. SURVEY LETI'ER TO AVI VENDORS Dear ___ The University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) is eurrently under contract with the F1orida Department of Transportation to analyze and evaluate the feasibility of automatic vehicle identification (A VI) for the Florida Turnpike. Phase I of this project deals with the analysis of eurrent A VI technology. Your assistance in the timely completion of this phase of the project is kindly requested. Please provide responses to the following questions and return your responses as soon as possible (within two weeks). Also, don't hesitate to call us if you have any probletns regarding these questions. 1. What type of transmission technology do you provide and why? (i e., acoustical waves, optical scanner, infrared, radio frequency tnicrowaves) 2. Do you provide active or passive transponders? 3. What are the appropriate applications of your technology, besides toll collection? 4. Please list existing and potential clients with specific operation sites, contact person and telephone number and address. 5. What are your processing rates and data storage capabilities? 6. What are the maximum traffic speeds that can be maintained during processing? 7. What is the maximum/tninimum target distance required? 8. What duration of start-up time (procurement, installation and pilot testing) is required for your system? 9. What have been most common questions and requests from clients? 10. Please provide any statistical information on your system reliability and performance. 11. Do you provide for re-codability or transferability of transponder (i.e., for carpooling, vanpooling, etc )? 12. Please list general description for hardware and software requirements of your system. 52


13. What are your average system costs (capital operating and maintenance) per lane? 14. What specific products and services do you provide to your clients? 15. Please describe the general location and make-up of the maste r processing unit within your system. 16. What are the retrofitting capabilities of your system wit h other technologies? 17. What have been the typica l maintenance and follow-up needs of your clients? Again, we greatly appreciate your input to this project. We look f orward to receiving your responses. Sincerely, Gary L. Brosch Director GLB:em 53


14 Cubic Western Data Mr. Bill Bauder 5650 Kearny Mesa Road San Diego CA 92111 (619) 268-3100 15. Automatic Toll Systems, Inc. Mr. Bob Betcher, Vice President, Sales 25 Central Avenue, P.O. Box 1109 Teterboro, NJ 07608-1109 (201) 288-9595 16. 3M Traffic Control Materials Divis ion Mr. Chuck Monaghan Sales Representative 10034 Clearfield Avenue Vienna, VA 22181 1-800-241-3669 17. EMX Mr. Joe Rozgonyi 3570 Warrensville Center Road Shaker Heights, OH 44122 18. Proxim Mr. Gordon Mayer 295 North Bernardo Avenue Mountain View, CA 94043 19. Mars Electronics International, Inc. Mr. Bud Yanak 1301 Wilson Drive West Chester, PA 19380 20. CGAHBS Mr. Serge Zass, President B.P 85 91229 Bretigny Sur Orge Cedex France 56


21. C.S.E.E. Presiden t 8, Avenue du ler mai 91124 Palais e au Cedex France 22. Hype r X I nternational Pres ident 1, Avenue de !'Europe 31400 T oulouse France 23. Elsydel-Trindel Mr. Pierre Vargioni, P r esident 63, Boulevard Bessieres 75017 P aris, France 24. Matra Systemes De Securite: M 2S Pare d' Activite de Ia B reche 11/13, rue Olof Palme Immeuble Pythagore 94006 Creitel Cedex France 25. Vapor Canada, Inc. Kelly Gravelle 10655 H e nri-Bourassa West Ville St. Laurent, Quebec (514) 335-4200 F ax: (514) 3 3 5-4231 26. Wabco Westinghouse Compagnia I taliana Segnalia S.P.A Via Volvera 50 10045 P iossasco (Torino) Italie ( I taly) 27 International Road Dynamics, I nc. Mr. Terry Bergan, P resident 702 43rd Street Saskatoon, Saskatche wan Canada S7K 3T9 (306) 934-6777 57


28. NDC Automation Mr. Daniel L Gallivan, Sales Manager 3101 latrobe Drive Charlotte, NC 28211 29. General Railway Signal Mr. Daniel J. Reitz, Senior Sales Engineer P.O. Box 20600 Rochester, NY 14602-0600 30. Toll Systems Technology Pty. Mr. Terry Brown, President 21 Smith Street Capalaba, Queensland, 4157 Australia 31. X-CYTE, Inc. Mr. Donald Smyer, CEO 1710 North Shoreline Boulevard Mountain View, CA 94043 32. EIDS Systems Mr. W. Keith Brockelsby 17316 107th Avenue Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 33. Cotag International, Inc. Mr. Stuart M. Evans 685 Kromer Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312 34. Gulf Systems, Inc. Mr. Dean S. Majoue' 535 Main Street Baton Rouge, lA 70802 ( 504) 383-9509 58


C. SURVEY LETI'ER TO AVI OPERATORS Dear : ---The University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) is currently under contract with the Florida Department of Transportation to analyze and evaluate the feasibility of automatic vehicle identification (A VI) for the Florida Turnpike. Phase I of this project deals with an inventory and evaluation of A VI Systems. Your assistance in the timely completion of this phase of the project would be greatly appreciated. Please provide responses to the following questions and return your responses as soon as possible (within two weeks). Also, don't hesitate to call us if you have any problems regarding these q uestions. We will be pleased to share the results of our project with you. 1. Briefly describe your system (i.e., length, number of traffic lanes, number of toll booth lanes by type, spacing of toll plazas, etc.) 2. Have you performed any user surveys or system performance analysis? Can you please provide us with a copy? (We would pay for copying costs). 3. What are your current toll rates and A VI card rates? Any plans for rate increases? 4. What are the total number of A VI cards purchased? 5. Current total u sers vs. A VI users (Avg. daily and A.M. & P.M. peak-hour) 6. Method of payment collection for A VI (i.e., pre-payment vs. post payment. .linkage to credit cards, separate account or depreciating A VI card.) 7. Are any service fees passed on to patrons? If so, what amount? 8. What has been the reduction in operating and maintenance costs since A VI implementation? 9. What have been the patronage changes before and after A VI installation? 10. What have been the violation rates? How is this situation handled? 11. Have there been any impacts to traffic on other roads in your system's corridor after A VI installation? 12. Do you currently have or do you plan dedicated lanes for A VI? 59


13. Have there been any safety problems since A VI installation (i.e., merge/diverge)? 14. Can you provide any evidence of reduction in toll plaza expansion and/or reconstruction with A VI installation? If so, please qualify. 15. What vendor products and services do you utilize? What is the name of your vendor? 16. Do you have interest in compatibility with other SYStems? If so, why? 17. What specific marketing and public information techniques have you performed? To what extent has this improved patronage? Again, we greatly appreciate your input to this project. We look forward to receiving your responses. Sincerely, Gary L. Brosch Director GLB:em 60


D. LIST OF AVI OPERATORS (5-90) 1. CALTRANS Cathy Gaunt (Contact Vendor: SAIC) (For Coronado Bridge) Public Affairs Office 2829 Juan Street San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 237-6670 CAL TRANS Mr. Les Kubel Chief of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Branch 5900 Folsom Blvd. P.O. Bo>t 19128 Sacramento, CA 95819 2. Crescent City Connection Division (Greater New Orleans Bridge) Mr. Frank H. Rutherford, Business Services Manager II P. 0. Box 6297 New Orleans, lA 70174 (504) 364-8132 3. Maryland Transportation Authority Mr. Dave Williams P. 0. Box 9088 Dundalk, MD 21222 (301) 575 7162 Maryland Transportation Authority Mr. John Higgins Deputy Director of Support P.O Box 9088 Dundalk, MD 21222 (301) 563 4. Orlando/Orange County Expressway Authority Mr. David W. Gwynn, Executive Director 525 S. Magnolia Avenue Orlando, FL 32801 ( 407) 425-8606 61


5. New Jersey Highway Authority Mr Stanley Ciszewski Telecommunications System Engineer Garden State Parkway, Garden State Arts Center Woodbridge, NJ 07095 (201) 442-8600 6. E-470 Pu blic Highway Authority (Denver Tollroad) Mr. Terry Geobegan, Directo r of Toll Operations 7951 E. Maplewood Ave., Suite 126 Englewood, CO 80111 (303) TI3-9588 7. Lee COunty Department of Transportation & Engineering (Lee County B ridges) Mr. Dennis Reynolds 2022 H endry Street F ort Myers, FL 33901 (813) 489-2526 8. P ort Authority of New York-New J ersey Mr. Ron CUnningham COnsulting Technology P lanne r 1 W orl d Trade Center, Room 71 We st New York, NY 10048 (212) 466-7937 9. Texas Turnpike Autho rity M r. Jim Griffin, Execu tive D irector 3015 R aleigh Street, P 0. Box 190369 Dallas, TX 75219 (214 ) 522-6200 10. Pennsyl vania T urnpike Commission Mr. Phil Catalano P 0. Box 8531 H arrisbur g PA 17105 (717) 939-9551, ext. 5510 PelUlSylvania Turnpike COmmission Mr Dale Wingert P. 0. Box 8531 Harrisburg, PA 17105 (717) 939-9551, ext. 5510 6Z


11. Gateway Bridge Toll Plaza Mr. Steven Schollay Administration Road Murarrie, Brisbane Queensland 4172, Australia 8 Hi1-7-39

17. International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association Ms Maureen Gallagher, Director of Research 2120 L Street, N.W. Suite 305 Washington, D.C. 20037-1527 (202) 6594620 18. Florida Depanment of Transportation Pinellas Bayway John Berry Jane Schiltz 4501 54th Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33711 (813) 893-2774 19. Nassau County Bridge Nassau County Bridge Authority Mr. Andrew Meyer P O. Box 341 Lawrence, NY 11559 (516) 239-6900 20. Delaware River Port Authority Mr. Alex Bonavitacola Manager of Toll Activities Bridge Plaza Camden, NJ 08101 ( 609) 963-6420 21. Grosse lie Bridge Company Mr. Paul Smoke, President 7706 Macomb Street P.O. Box 24 Grosse lie, M1 48138 (313) 675-0511 22 City of Treasure Island (Treasure Island Causeway) Mr. Hal Bruce City Hall 120 108tb Avenue Treasure Island FL 33706 (813) 360-0811 64


E. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AVI TECHNOLOGY Ayland, N., Davies, P., and HiU, C., "Automatic Vehicle Identification for Non-Stop Collection The Virginia Experience," Road Traffic Monitoring, Second International Conference, Publication Number 299, February, 1989. Bergan, A. T.; Henion, Loyd; Krukar, Milan; and Taylor, Brian, "Electronic License Plate Technology: Automatic Vehicle Location and Identification; Canadian Journal of Civil En2ineeriml vol. 15, 1988. Blythe, P.T., and Hills, P., 'The Automation of Toll-Collection and Road-Use Pricing Systems," Road Traffic Second International Conference, Publication Number 299, February, 1989. Blythe, P.T., and Jefferson, R.L., "Low Energy Microwave Automatic Communications System(LEMACS), Road Traffic Second International Conference, Publication Number 299, February, 1989. Bogen, K., and Waested, K., "No Stop Electronic Toll Payment Systems," Road Traffic Monitorina, Second International Conference, Publication Number 299, February, 1989. Borins, S.F., "The Political Economy of Road Pricing: The Cas e of Hong Kong," Proceedin&S. Research for Tomorrow's Transpon at the World Conference on Transportation Research, Vancouver, B.C., 1986. Burgess, G., and Coulter, H.S ., "Managing the Highway System in an Era of Technological Change," Presented at Western Highway Institute Conference, San Francisco, Calif., July, 1984. Castle Rock Consultants, "Phase Two: Concept Development," Department of Transportation: Dulles Fastoll Project, Leesburg, Virginia, August, 1988. 65


Davies, P., "Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate (HELP) System Phase 1A Feasibility Study." CRC Corporation, Nottingham, England, 1984. EMHART-Planning Research Corporation, Statement of Qua lifica tions for A VI Toll Collection System: Requested by Orla ndo/Orang e Cou nty Expressway Authority, February 1, 1990. French, Bob, and Queree, Chris, "The Intelligent Highway," RTI/IYHS News, issue 1, April, 1990. Gohsn, M., and Moses, F., "Weighing Trucks in Moti on Using Instrumented Highway Bridges," FHWA/OH-8!{008,FHWA. U.S. Department of Transporta tion, December, 1981. Henion, Loyd, Weigh-in-Motion: New Technology to Assist Us in Managing Our Highway Investment," Presented at National Weigh-in-Motion Conference, Denver, Colorado, July, 1983. Henion, Loyd, "What is the Crescent Project?", Oregon State Highway Division, Salem, February, 1985. Henion, Loyd, and Koos, Barbara, 'Technology and the Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate Program: Potential Uses for Government and Industry," Private-Sector Involvement and Toll Road in the Provision of Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1987. Henion, Loyd, a nd Koos, Barbara, "Tec hnology and the HELP Program-Potential Uses for Government and Industry," Int ernation al Conference on the Roles of Private Enterprise and Market Processes in th e Financing and Provis ion of Roads," Baltimore, Maryland, 1986. Henion, Loyd, and Krukar, M., "The Oregon Weigh in-Motion Project," Presented at Eighteenth Annual Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference, Olympia, Washington, May 1984. 66


Henion, Loyd, and Krukar, M., ''The Use of Weigh-in-Motion/ Automatic Vehicle Identification Data in Oregon," Presented at Second Conference on Weigh-in-Motion Technology and Applications, Atlanta, Georgia, May, 1985. HighwayjVehicle Technology Committee and Highway Users Federation, "Smart Cars, Smart Highways: Toward More Efficient, Safer Driving," Washington, D.C., 1990. Houghton, AD., "Automatic Vehicle Recognition," Road Traffic Monitoring. Second International Conference, Institute of Electrical Engineers, Publication Number 299, February, 1989. Izumi, T., Kiryu, N., Matsumoto, W., Sumi, H., and Takahashi, H., "Method of Measuring Travel Time by Using Ultrasonic Vehicle Profile Classifiers," Road Traffic Second International Conference, Institution of Electrical Engineers, Publication Number 299, February, 1989 Johns, B., Kenyon, A Brown, and Sullivan, T., "Traffic Data Collection: Automation of the National Core Census and the Incorporation of Dynamic Axle Weighing," Road Traffic Monitorin2Second International Conference, Institute of Electrical Engineers, Publication Number 299, February, 1989. Koos Barbara, "A VI Benefits for States," Oregon State Highway Division, Planning Section, Salem, Oregon, 1986. Kosonen, I., and Pursula, M., "Microprocessor and PC-Based Vehicle Classification Equipment Using Induction Loops," Road Traffic Monitorinjl, Second International Conference, Institute of Electrical Engineers, Publication Number 299, February 1989 Krukar, M., 'The Benefits of Using Automatic Vehicle Identification Tracking Devices to the State of Oregon and the Trucking Industry," Oregon Department of Transportation, Salem, Oregon, 1983. 67


Krukar, M., "Final Report, Weigh-in-Motion and A VI Demonstration Program," The Oregon Department of Transportation, Salem, Oregon, 1986. Lee, Douglas, "Highway Pricing as a Tool for Congestion Management," Transportation Systems Center, U.S. Department of Transportation, Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA, April, 1989. McDaniel, T.L, and Schmidt, J.W., 'The Development of an A VI/WIM Data Base and the Demonstration of a Combination of Bridge WIM and Portable A VI Data," Science Application International Corporation, San Diego, California, April, 1985. Mobility 2000 Working Group. Intelliient Vehicle Hiihwa,y $.)-.stems: Adyanced Driver Information Systems (ADIS}. Dallas, Texas, March, 1990. Mobility 2000 Working Group. lntellieent Vehicle HieJ!way Systems: Advanced Traffic Manaeement $.)'.stems (AIMS). Dallas, Texas, March, 1990. Mobility 2000 Working Group. Intelli&ent Vehicle Hiehway $.)'.stems: Automated Vehicle Control $.)-.stems (A VCS). Dallas, Texas, March, 1990 Mobility 2000 Working Group. lntelliJ:eot Vehicle Hiehwa,y Systems: Commercial Operations. Dallas, Texas, March, 1990. Mobility 2000 Working Group. Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems: Operational Benefits. Dallas, Texas, 1990. Nogarni, Hisakuni, and Wakao, Masayoshi, "Premises Radio Systems in Japan," Institute of Electrical Eneineers, vol 25, no. 10, October, 1987. Railway Age, "A VI: A System That Works," Railway Aee. October, 1989. Reed, H.A., and Schmitt, LA., "Heavy Vehicle Electronic License P late and the Crescent Demonstration Project," Proceedings, Second National Weigh-in-Motion Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 1985. 68


Regan, Edward J. ID, "A VI: Dollars and Sense," Paper Presented at the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association Conference, 1989. Sinuns, P., "'The Use of Weigh in-Motion Systems to Collect Design Data, Paper Presented to The National Conference on Weigh-in-Motion, Technology and Applications, Atlanta, Georgia, 1985. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, "HELP is on the Way," Transportation Research News. July-August, 1988. URS/Coverdale, and Colpitts, "Preliminary Trip Table: Traffic Survey and System Toll Rate Study," Prepared for the Florida Department of Transportation, April-August, 1989. U RS/Coverdale and Colpitts, "Traffic Engineers' Fiscal Year 1989 Annual Report ," Prepared for the Florida Department of Transportation, April, 1989. U.S. Department of Transportation, "Report to Congress on Intelligent VehicleHighway Systems; Office of the Secretary of Transportation, Washington, D.C., March, 1990. Vapor Corporation, General Description of VETAG Systems, Yapor Bulletin, no. 100, Chicago, Illi n ois, 1985. 69


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