November 5, 2020

Toll Solutions for Today’s Needs

By David Raines

It wasn’t long ago that “toll road” and “great experience” were opposite concepts. But the days of endless traffic congestion at bloated toll plazas are gone. Since the turn of the 21st century, the tolling industry has undergone a technical and operations revolution that has made toll roads among the most advanced and best operated roadways in the world. RK&K is excited to be part of the rapidly evolving tolling world that promises to be an integral part of ongoing technological changes that will shape transportation in the decades to come.

DelDOT first All Electronic Tolling (AET) roadway - US 301

RK&K supported DelDOT in developing its first All Electronic Tolling (AET) roadway – US 301.

From new toll technologies, to implementing electronic tolling and customer service tools, our experienced staff has put in place solutions that meet the needs of both toll agencies and commuters. We provide planning, design, construction management, and system implementation services for toll system improvements including all electronic tolling (AET) facilities (both new installations and conversions), managed/express lane facilities, and back office systems and operations. Our tolls group provides comprehensive services such as program and systems analysis, system implementation, and operational support services to improve our clients’ systems, practices, customer service, and operations. Our team has developed toll diversion studies, prepared feasibility studies, performed contract management, and advised clients on critical decisions in program delivery.

 

Meet the Team

A need arose to bring transportation experts together to provide customers full-service solutions. This meant bringing the expertise of tolling specialists, roadway and toll system planners, roadway and facility design engineers, environmental engineers, and traffic engineers into one group.

As a senior tolls expert, I have the pleasure of leading the incredibly talented RK&K tolls staff.

As a senior tolls expert, I have the pleasure of leading the incredibly talented RK&K tolls staff. I have more than 20 years of tolling experience in project and program management, systems analysis, maintenance support, and electronic payment systems for all facets of tolling, managed lanes, transit, parking and border crossings. Our group is rounded out by many skilled experts. Steve Hamilton, RK&K senior toll system specialist, has more than 30 years of toll system implementation experience with in-depth knowledge of interrelated complex systems. Rob Thibodaux is a senior toll analyst with extensive experience developing electronic toll systems and reports critical in-monitoring toll system performance including traffic volumes, traffic trends, and financial reports. Heather Henck brings experience implementing customer service solutions. The team is further supported by Barry Brandt and Jim Burnett (traffic analysis and traffic and ITS design); Paul Wai (operations analysis); Karen Kahl and Jeff Roberta (toll facility planning and design); Mike Smith (system analysis and design); and Mark Tudor (strategic planning).

 

Meeting Clients’ Needs

We’ve been fortunate to work with multiple agencies with unique needs, then partnering to come up with innovative solutions:

For the Chesapeake Bay Bridge all electronic toll collection project, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) needed to convert to AET quickly. This meant full demolition of the toll plaza could not be done in the desired timeframe. To help MDTA stay on schedule, RK&K implemented a staged approach for construction and operations. First was AET gantry construction and commissioning to collect tolls. Next was performing infrastructure improvements to allow high-speed operations through the toll plaza. Finally, removing the toll plaza. Developing multiple task orders in this way allowed MDTA to quickly start construction on aspects of the project with a shorter duration.

Toll facilities will continue to be an important part of our nation’s transportation network, and our team will stay in step of the latest innovations.

The tolls team supported the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in developing an implementation plan, the “Conversion Playbook,” to convert its facilities to cashless toll-in-place. The playbook was used as a guide in advance of and during the conversion process. It included a series of action items, required completion dates, and responsible parties. The playbook proved to be a helpful tool for Turnpike employees.

A mobile video audit system (MVAS).

A mobile video audit system (MVAS).

As part of MDTA’s third generation electronic system conversion, we established an aggressive schedule to convert toll lane equipment system wide. To stay efficient, senior toll analyst Rob Thibodaux developed a tool to independently verify traffic volume and classification reporting by using a mobile video audit system (MVAS). The MVAS captures video data and allows our staff to compare results against the toll system provider’s data. It let the team identify operational issues quickly, allowing equipment modifications to occur while the contractor was still on site.

Toll facilities will continue to be an important part of our nation’s transportation network, and our team will stay in step of the latest innovations. That’s what makes RK&K unique: our talented team covers the entire array of services to plan, design, and implement toll facilities to meet client needs.

How can we help you on your next tolls project? Contact me at draines@rkk.com.

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