TransCore to convert New York’s bridges and tunnels to AET technology


New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has selected TransCore to convert all nine of its bridges and tunnels to all-electronic tolling (AET). Under an accelerated roll-out schedule, the company will finish converting the first three facilities by January, and the remaining conversions will be completed by the end of November 2017.

New York State Governor Andrew M Cuomo first announced the New York Crossings Project at the start of October, as a broad initiative to reduce traffic congestion and decrease vehicle emissions for the 800,000 commuters that cross these roads and bridges daily. As well as the introduction of all-electronic open road tolling (ORT), Cuomo’s transformational plan reimagined New York’s river crossings for the 21st century, with flood and seismic safety systems, enhanced security systems, and new LED lighting. The MTA’s bridges and tunnels serve over 280 million vehicles each year, carrying more traffic than any other bridge and tunnel authority in the USA, with surplus revenues helping support MTA transit services.

The MTA’s facilities being converted by TransCore are the: Robert F Kennedy, Throgs Neck, Verrazano-Narrows (top), Bronx-Whitestone (bottom), Henry Hudson, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial, and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial bridges; and its tunnels are the Hugh L Carey (formerly Brooklyn-Battery) and Queens Midtown tunnels. All are within New York City, and all accept payment by the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system, with 81% of the vehicles that use the MTA’s crossings on weekdays currently using E-ZPass transponders.

TransCore will deploy its Infinity Digital Lane System on the MTA’s bridges and tunnels so the existing gated toll plazas can be demolished. Because the MTA ranks as the largest toll agency in the USA, the requirement for this AET system to capture every transaction in a highly accurate and auditable manner was a critical aspect in the technology selection process, along with a proven ability to meet challenging accelerated deployment schedules.

The Infinity system integrates automatic vehicle identification (AVI), vehicle classification, and video capture and recognition systems, all specifically designed to automatically collect transactions in high-volume traffic across a wide variety of traffic speeds and patterns with the highest degrees of accuracy in the industry. The Infinity system will automatically read E-ZPass tolltags, enabling these vehicles to cross the facilities without stopping. Commuters without an E-ZPass will also now be able to drive through unimpeded, as cameras installed on the gantries will automatically read each vehicle’s license plate. Motorists will then receive a toll charge in the mail. For the MTA, Infinity’s fully-integrated digital video audit system also provides the agency’s auditors with a real-time, user-friendly tool to facilitate end-to-end revenue traceability and auditability.

“We are truly honored that the largest toll agency in the United States entrusts our tolling technology to accurately collect over US$1.8bn in annual toll revenues amid the world’s most challenging traffic conditions,” said Whitt Hall, senior vice president of tolling at TransCore. “Our entire team is excited to help implement MTA’s vision for this transformative project in a timeframe that sets a new standard in the industry.”

November 1, 2016

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About Author


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).