A few weeks ago, we attended the New Hampshire Institute of Transportation Engineers (NHITE) fall meeting (where I serve as NHITE president). Our engineers learned about the history of tolling in New Hampshire, tolling technology, and details on design and challenges at planned All Electronic Tolling (AET) locations in Dover and Rochester.
Electronic tolls are just what they sound like – overhead scanners that connect to an account like E-ZPass to pay your toll. They replace the manned/unmanned booths (barrier tolls) and the need for rolls of quarters or tokens. They help with alleviating traffic that builds up at toll booths during peak seasons. Just like barrier toll booths, though, they have their challenges. Fee collection systems must be properly designed and monitored to ensure revenue is not lost while driver privacy must be protected.
These are all considerations that engineers and system administrators must consider when thinking about implementing AET.
Key takeaways we want to share
- Collecting tolls is vital for maintaining turnpike assets in New Hampshire; including nearly 90 miles of limited access highway such as the FE Everett Turnpike.
- AET tolling increases the capacity of the toll facilities and reduces the congestion felt by drivers. They eliminate vehicle conflict points at merge locations and lane changes, which helps to reduce crashes. AET also reduces environmental impacts with a smaller project footprint and by lowering emissions through reduced acceleration/deceleration.
- Drivers’ privacy is a primary concern; data that is collected by electronic tolls is erased immediately after all successful transactions.
- Loss of revenue through “leakage” (travelers who go through the tolls without paying) must be minimized so that funds for road maintenance and repairs are available.
How this will help you
Attending conferences and trainings like these helps Hoyle, Tanner staff keep abreast of the latest technologies and ideas that we can use to better serve our clients.