Implementation of open road tolling (ORT) can provide better performance for a toll collection facility than a conventional toll plaza design. Improvements have been sought to decrease toll transaction times so drivers experience reduced delays or none at all. Though ITS technology such as automatic vehicle identification (AVI) in the form of electronic toll collection (ETC) was a concept that has revolutionized toll collection, with the ever increasing traffic volumes on toll facilities, more innovative methods such as ORT are being deployed. Agencies around the world have implemented ORT and some have integrated express (high speed) ETC lanes in their normal plaza design.
Open Road Tolling and express ETC were implemented at the University Toll Plaza in the summer of 2003. Twenty months of data were collected at intervals prior to any construction, during construction, just after construction was completed and then again a few months later. To complete the evaluation of the new plaza design, the TPSIM computer simulation model was utilized. TPSIM is the Toll Plaza Simulation model developed by the University of Central Florida’s Transportation Systems Institute. Delays at the plaza decreased substantially after implementation compared to the evaluation results prior to construction.
- An analysis of crash data resulted in a 22 percent drop in total crashes at the plaza and 26 percent drop in the plaza’s area of influence.
- Based on the total crashes, average AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic), and estimated vehicle-miles (in the area of influence), a calculated crash rate shows an overall reduction of 49 percent.