Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise wins IBTTA’s 2018 Toll Excellence Award for ‘Operations’


The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) has announced that Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise has won the 2018 Toll Excellence Award for ‘Toll Operations, Engineering & Maintenance’.

As the worldwide association representing the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them, the IBTTA presents the Toll Excellence Awards annually, to highlight the very best projects, innovations and solutions from the international tolling industry. The award will be presented during IBTTA’s 86th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, which is taking place from October 14-16 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise won the award for the implementation of its Supplemental Lane Analysis and Monitoring (SLAM) system. One of the primary risks of converting to an All Electronic Tolling (AET) system is the loss of revenue. If the technology system that supports the toll collection system in any way fails to perform at peak levels, it may prevent a toll agency from collecting all revenues due from its customers. In other words, problems on the front end of the system can cause collection problems in the back office.

Traditional maintenance monitoring teams focus on detecting hard failures or severe degradation. In contrast, the SLAM Team focuses on more subtle performance degradation that might otherwise go undetected. Such weakened performance causes revenue leakage that accumulates over time.

To accomplish this mission, SLAM is composed of a multi-disciplinary staff with experience in maintenance, lane and back office engineering and finance. The team defined a set of performance metrics that could be derived from transaction and back office data, then set up means to collect, summarize and monitor the data via reports and dashboards.

A regular schedule was established for daily monitoring and weekly trend analysis. Hard failure issues that are found are immediately forwarded to front-line maintenance teams. More subtle design-level issues or performance improvement opportunities are logged and investigated over time with assistance from appropriate outside parties, such as lane vendors and back office software architects. Design issues are tracked until the desired changes are fully implemented and deployed to production.

The IBTTA panel said the results of the SLAM Program have been outstanding. The Turnpike estimates that the team efforts have resulted in over US$10m in collected revenues and operational cost savings per year over the past three years, for a total savings in excess of US$30m.

This has been accomplished through a combination of detecting degraded equipment, lane system improvements and video toll processing software and workflow improvements. SLAM’s application of system performance metrics monitoring in a coordinated and documented way is innovative and has improved the bottom-line for Florida’s Turnpike.

“Localities throughout the globe continue to harness the power of toll-financed transportation and this year’s Toll Excellence Award winners represent the industry’s most innovative practices to promote greater mobility for drivers,” said Patrick Jones, executive director and CEO of IBTTA.

“Today’s transportation challenges require creative strategies and new technologies to meet the demands of the driving public. The tolling-industry has become a worldwide incubator for the implementation of cutting-edge solutions.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).