Florida and North Carolina are closing out the year with an announcement that is big news for the southeastern United States and a significant step toward meeting the 2016 deadline for nationwide electronic tolling interoperability of U.S. toll facilities.
The Secretaries of Transportation for North Carolina and Florida announced December 19 that the Florida Sunpass and the North Carolina QUICK PASS will be fully functional on toll roads in either state by July 1, 2013.
The Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) will join this effort for its Peach Pass customers following Florida and North Carolina’s implementation.
This is a significant step in the four-year drive for nationwide electronic tolling interoperability that began when the U.S. Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) transportation authorization bill earlier this year.
It’s particularly significant because it shows what’s possible when all parties are determined to make it happen. For this deal to work, the three agencies will have to harmonize administrative systems and transponder functions across their borders. The actual mechanics still need to be addressed, but clearly there is strong political interest in achieving interoperability at the state and regional levels. We salute all three states for their leadership and commitment to electronic tolling interoperability.
The collaborative efforts of the three southeastern states to establish electronic tolling interoperability is reminiscent of the collaboration among three northeastern states to stop toll scofflaws. In August 2011, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire signed a Memoranda of Agreement that allows each state to impose sanctions on toll scofflaws who are residents of the other states. Before this agreement, one state had little leverage to make a resident of the other states pay the fees.
IBTTA’s Interoperability Committee, which is composed of representatives of IBTTA member toll agencies and companies that serve the toll industry, is working vigorously with all parties and stakeholders to achieve nationwide electronic tolling interoperability in the USA by 2016.