Agency reports success of first six months of AET on Massachusetts Turnpike

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is hailing the successful implementation of all electronic tolling (AET) along the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) after its first six months of operation, with the Raytheon-supplied system showing a transponder read-rate accuracy greater than 99%.

The agency has announced a series of notable achievements in the areas of tolling operations, customer service, and roadway reconstruction after the AET system went live on October 28, 2016. MassDOT is now serving 4.3 million accounts under the current AET program, including 1.9 million E-ZPassMA accounts and 2.4 million Pay By Plate accounts.

As of May 1, there were approximately 3.2 million E-ZPassMA transponders in use, with a 12-month increase of 587,000 units in circulation; a 22.3% rise. MassDOT consistently maintains an 86% rate of transactions paid with an E-ZPass transponder, which is one of the highest levels of toll tag usage of any state in the USA.

The transition to AET has also improved travel times, with drivers heading into Boston during the morning commute experiencing up to seven minutes of time savings compared to February last year. Over the last year, MassDOT has opened three new walk-in customer service centers, and the agency’s customer service vendor has also more than doubled the number of call center employees.

The EZDriveMA customer service phone center receives an average of approximately 200,000 calls per week, and there has been a dramatic reduction in call wait times, with MassDOT reporting a 90% decrease from December to the first week of May. Toll booth demolition and road reconstruction activities are continuing on, or ahead of, schedule at all 23 work zones on I-90, with everything scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017. Revenue collections are at or above forecast through March, with MassDOT on target for its estimates.

“We are pleased to report that operations have been efficient in servicing our more than 4.3 million all electronic tolling accounts and ensuring we meet our goals of toll operability, excellent customer service, and an efficient toll demolition and road reconstruction process,” said MassDOT secretary and CEO, Stephanie Pollack.

“Thanks to the hard work of agency tolling and construction personnel and everyone involved in this transition, our AET system is performing as it was designed to perform. In addition, toll demolition and road reconstruction operations are on or ahead of schedule at all locations, and data shows that drivers are already experiencing reduced travel time.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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