Massachusetts’s figures confirm success of All Electronic Tolling implementation

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has released its first figures since the implementation of the All Electronic Tolling (AET) program on October 28 on I-90 between New York and Boston.

MassDOT has announced that it is continuing the process of road reconstruction and toll plaza infrastructure demolition activities following the start of AET on I-90. Toll demolition and roadway reconstruction continues to trend on schedule at all 23 work zones and all Phase One work was completed ahead of schedule in time for the Thanksgiving holiday travel week, which reportedly saw less severe congestion than in previous years. Phase Two of the Toll Plaza Demolition and Road Reconstruction Project involves work on what had been the toll plaza areas, in addition to the demolition of any toll administration buildings and remaining tunnel infrastructure. This work will occur throughout the winter, and all activities are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

MassDOT says several important achievements have been realized, including:

• Between October 28 and December 4, the overhead tolling gantries registered 50.3 million transactions;

• Travel time data during weekday morning hours shows that drivers traveling eastbound along I-90 from I-495 to the I-90 ‘boat section’ in South Boston saw up to 12 minutes of travel time savings during Stage 2 construction, on average, when compared with the weeks prior to the toll demolition project;

• A record number of transponders are assigned to vehicles, with 3,051,886 Massachusetts E-ZPass transponders now in circulation, as of December 5;

• Since October 28, 83% of the transactions have been automatically registered as valid E-ZPass transactions. Following manual image review, this percentage rose to approximately 86%, which puts MassDOT above its goal of 85% E-ZPass market share;

• From October 28 to December 5, MassDOT mailed 589,787 Pay By Plate invoices to customers with no transponder.

MassDOT will continue to monitor traffic flow on I-90 during the winter months so construction activities can continue to be evaluated in regard to the impact on drivers.

“All Phase One toll plaza demolition work was completed ahead of schedule and work continues to progress on schedule for the next phases of road reconstruction in 23 work zones,” said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO, Stephanie Pollack.

“The transition to All Electronic Tolling has been a smooth one, and we believe the public has started to realize the goals of the program, which include increasing safety, some relief from traffic congestion, and a reduction in greenhouse gases.”

Massachusetts Highway Administrator Thomas J Tinlin commented, “This project is a true testament to the hard work and thoughtful planning MassDOT personnel and contractors put into construction activities. We had a safe transition from manual collection, and we’ve had a large number of drivers applying for free transponders in order to get the E-ZPassMA discount. All in all, it’s been a successful transition and we have appreciated the public’s patience in traveling through work zones, and the dedication of crews in working around the clock to complete this project on 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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