International Bridge, Tunnel And Turnpike Association Announces 2019 Toll Excellence Award Winners

FOR RELEASE:  Monday, July 22, 2019

CONTACT: Bill Cramer, Communications Director
bcramer@ibtta.org or 202-210-2962 (mobile)

2019 Winners Lead the Industry in Easing Congestion, Embracing New Technologies, Improving Highway Safety and Reliability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) today announced the six winners of its prestigious 2019 Toll Excellence Awards, all of them global industry leaders doing outstanding work to ease traffic congestion, embrace new technologies, and improve highway safety and reliability.

The awards will be presented during IBTTA’s 87th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, September 15-17, 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. During the award ceremony, one recipient will be honored with the President’s Award for Excellence, the association’s highest achievement.

“Each award winner has taken on a tough transportation challenge and worked with partners to find a practical solution,” said Patrick Jones, Executive Director and CEO of IBTTA. “We’re incredibly proud of the work they’ve done to represent our industry.”

“For nearly two decades, IBTTA has recognized toll agencies, authorities and businesses world-wide that seek out innovative solutions to deliver safer, more reliable mobility,” said David Machamer, Chair of IBTTA’s Toll Excellence Awards Committee and Assistant Executive Director for Toll and PIKEPASS Operations with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. “We applaud our 2019 Toll Excellence Award winners for groundbreaking achievements that are already helping drivers reach their destinations, safely and on time.”

This year’s recipients of IBTTA’s 2019 Toll Excellence Awards are:

  • Administration and Finance: Transurban North America, Northern Virginia
  • Customer Service and Marketing Outreach: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) – Tampa, FL
  • Social Responsibility: Central Florida Expressway Authority, Florida Department of Transportation – District Five and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise
  • Technology:Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
  • Toll Operations, Engineering and Maintenance: Illinois Tollway
  • Private Sector Innovation Award: Electronic Transaction Consultants (ETC)

Please see below the backgrounder for a description of each award winner and their project or program.

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) is the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve tolling. Founded in 1932, IBTTA has members in 23 countries on six continents. Through advocacy, thought leadership and education, members are implementing state-of-the-art, innovative user-based transportation financing solutions to address the critical infrastructure challenges of the 21st Century. For more information, visit www.ibtta.org or join us on Twitter @IBTTA or #TollRoads.

Each year, IBTTA presents the Toll Excellence Awards tohighlight the very best projects, innovations and solutions from the international tolling industry.  The awards encourage the industry to share and celebrate new ideas and emerging practices in six categories: Administration and Finance; Customer Service and Marketing Outreach; Social Responsibility; Technology; Toll Operations, Engineering and Maintenance; and Private Sector Innovation. 

For more information about the IBTTA Toll Excellence Awards, to interview Patrick Jones or any of the award recipients, please contact Bill Cramer, Communications Director, IBTTA at bcramer@ibtta.org or 202.210.2962.


Administration and Finance Award: Transurban North America
P3 Innovative Financing of the I-395 Virginia Express Lanes

Transurban will deliver the eight-mile 395 Express Lanes project as part of its long-standing partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to reduce traffic congestion in one of the world’s 20 most congested cities. Transurban operates the 495 and 95 Express Lanes – a 45-mile network of dynamic, managed toll lanes that are serving over 6 million customers. Transurban will finance, develop, construct, operate and maintain the Express Lanes extension through the densely travelled 395 corridor connecting Springfield, Virginia and Washington, DC. The financing of the 395 Express Lanes involved multiple parties working together including Transurban North America, the Virginia Resources Authority, the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority and the VDOT Office of P3s. The process also included Commonwealth Transportation Board approval.  Transurban created a unified credit that improved on the operational success of the 95 Segment to support the Series 2017 Bonds and resulted in a one-notch credit upgrade to BBB from both S&P and Fitch.  The transaction received more than $1.5 billion in orders, allowing for further spread tightening to a final level of 49 to 50 basis points to Municipal Market Data rate. With demonstrated fiscal value to the Commonwealth of Virginia, its taxpayers and the project’s shareholders, the 395 Express Lanes moved swiftly to construction and is on schedule and on budget to open to customers in the fall of 2019.   

Customer Service and Marketing Outreach Award: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority
Communication Planning, Outreach and Execution for the Selman West Extension Project

Patience, consistent communication, and a commitment to community involvement and outreach made the difference for the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) when it launched the Selmon West Extension Project, the third attempt in 25 years to advance a project to reduce congestion along Gandy Boulevard in Tampa, Florida. Earlier plans that called for removal of homes and businesses along the corridor produced fierce community opposition.  When THEA took over the project in 2009, its engineers proposed a different solution—an elevated toll lane along the median that would fit the narrow roadway and leave surrounding buildings intact. On the heels of the “Great Recession,” that plan still made business and community leaders nervous and was put on hold. But by 2014, population growth significantly increased congestion and raised concerns about evacuation preparedness in the event of a major hurricane. THEA worked closely with local leaders and community stakeholders to reintroduce the elevated road design. The THEA team changed their approach and focused on community involvement and outreach. This included a communications campaign to respond to the concerns of businesses that believed they would be negatively affected by the construction.  It also including hosting events to draw more customers to the Gandy Boulevard corridor, a social media initiative to engage customers, and earned media opportunities for local businesses on local television networks. This regional connectivity project received the endorsement of four Chambers of Commerce and minimal push back from the neighboring communities as a direct result of the grassroots outreach and strategic marketing plan that THEA created for the shopping district.

Social Responsibility Award: Central Florida Expressway Authority, Florida Department of Transportation and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise
Wekiva Parkway (State Road 429)

With a population of more than 2.5 million and more than 72 million tourists visiting annually, Central Florida needed to complete the 25-mile Wekiva Parkway (State Road 429)to relieve the increasingly congested regional road network. The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) responded by building a $1.6-billion all-electronic tolling project that combines cutting-edge mobility and technology with enhanced environmental and social innovation, helping to protect wildlife and other natural resources surrounding the ecologically significant Wekiva River. In collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Five, and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, the project is guided by the 2004 Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act, which mandated environmental protections previously unseen in Florida. Under that legislation, CFX and FDOT bought 3,400 acres of conservation land that was previously slated for development, built 1.5 miles of wildlife bridges to replace two small tunnels, elevated the parkway to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, and limited the number of interchanges in the environmentally sensitive area. The project succeeded in providing a mobility solution with a true “parkway” feel while also helping to protect the environment surrounding the Wekiva River.

Technology Award: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Catch it Early is the mantra for a new geographic information system (GIS) web application created by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The application helps duty officers respond proactively to traffic flow and travel times across the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Historically, the Computer Aided Dispatch System (CADs) database was used to track fire stations and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers that service various sections of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  The PTC’s GeoAnalytics team in conjunction with the Traffic, Engineering and Operations (TEO) department, developed a suite of tools to increase the visual awareness of traffic operations.  The PTC partnered with Waze, AccuWeather, INRIX and Verizon, to gain access to real-time data-feeds.  GIS applications and dashboards were developed to display real-time data feeds, video, photos, radar, wind, travel speeds, weather, traffic conditions and the PTC safety and truck locations. These data layers help users and duty officers quickly identify major traffic incidents.  With this suite of tools, The PTC is able to “Catch it Early, Act, Analyze and Review” (CAAR).  The applications and dashboards allow the TEO to quickly detect, view, and evaluate affected areas and identify relevant emergency service providers for any given section of monitored roadway.

Toll Operations, Engineering and Maintenance Award:  Illinois Tollway
Customer Relationship Management System

In 2012, the Illinois Tollway began a major capital program that would require a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System capable of handling the growth in revenues and toll transactions. The wider effort included the introduction of the Illinois Tollway’s first cashless roads, its first cashless interstate-to-interstate interchange, and new cashless lanes along a 62-mile section between Chicago and Rockford, Illinois. From the time the capital program began the agency has been preparing for significant growth in volume and complexity of tolling operations, with transactions expected to increase by at least 45 percent and revenues by at least 50 percent through 2027. That jump in activity, will translate into a massive increase in back office requirements. To meet the challenge, the Tollway contracted with Accenture LLP for a new CRM system with updated business rules, customer self-service features, new and improved lane technologies, enhanced cybersecurity, and a wider range of external partners, including collection agencies, credit card companies, and other tolling agencies through interoperability agreements. The system now allows for more than $1.5 billion in toll and violation revenue, averaging 1.6 million users and 2.8 million toll transactions per day—more than 88 percent of them all-electronic via I-PASS or E-ZPass.

Private Sector Innovation Award: Electronic Transaction Consultants (ETC)
Central United States Interoperability Hub (CUSIOP Hub)

The charge to Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation (ETC) from the Central United States Interoperability (CUSIOP) Hub project was to design, develop, test and implement a new interoperability hub system that complied with U.S. national interoperability standards and facilitated transaction processing, reporting and reconciliation for the seven (7) participating agencies in the CUSIOP coalition in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. CUSIOP member agencies include Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority (FBCTRA), Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA), Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA), North Texas Toll Authority (NTTA), and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).  The project replaced the existing Team TX Interoperability Hub, which had also been previously developed by ETC. The CUSIOP Hub will be processing transactions from other regional hubs in the very near future in the run up to achieve nationwide interoperability, using standardized protocols for file transfer and transaction processing. It is the very first multi-state hub that meets the new standards set for National Interoperability (NIOP), paving the way for the rest of the nation to follow suit. Furthermore, CUSIOP is the foundation underlying and enabling the region’s multimodal future, as the platform could be expanded to process data from non-tolling agencies and services, such as transit, ride-share and commercial parking. Thanks to the IBTTA’s Interoperability Committee that developed the national standards in collaboration with stakeholders across the nation, CUSIOP’s member agencies’ leadership and ETC’s innovative design, the seven member agencies are currently at 95% compliance with the national standard, and the system is expected to achieve 100% compliance in late 2019. To date, CUSIOP has processed nearly 1B transactions and more than $1B in revenue.

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