Florida advances toward multistate toll interoperability

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Florida is taking the lead in advancing multistate electronic tolling compatibility, with an announcement that takes the state one step closer to meeting the USA’s national mandate for toll interoperability. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has entered into an agreement with Neology, a subsidiary of SMARTRAC Technology Group, for the patents associated with specific licensed products that offer the 6C protocol for electronic toll collection (ETC). Florida’s Secretary of Transportation, Jim Boxold, explained, “The license provided through the agreement with Neology, allows the Department to implement a variety of strategies to provide toll collection services. The use of the 6C protocol will be managed by the Department’s tolling arm, the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.”

All of the state’s tolling agencies are already compatible with the 6C protocol that is also used by the Georgia State Road and Toll Authority (SRTA), which has been interoperable with Florida for electronic toll collection, since last year. Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise will undertake the responsibility for deployment of the new protocol. Florida Turnpike executive director, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commented, “We also accommodate motorists from North Carolina and Georgia’s electronic systems, but there is a tremendous amount of back office work involved to make that happen. The new licensing agreement eliminates that in favor of a faster, more efficient and accurate real-time lane reader. This means that Florida is one step closer to welcoming travelers from states all around the country onto our system of tolled highways and bridges, so they can enjoy their visit hassle-free.”

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) has been coordinating discussions amongst the USA’s tolling agencies to determine the most effective way to implement national toll interoperability. The organization’s 2015 president executive director of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, Javier Rodriguez, said, “The work of the Florida DOT to secure this license puts the state in a position to be interoperable with almost all protocols being used in the USA today.”

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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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