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New Report Reveals More Americans Relying on Toll Roads

A new report also shows that tolls roads have one-third the fatality rate when compared to regular roads.

Tue July 07, 2015 - National Edition
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A new report released by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them, shows that as Americans take to the roads this summer they will more often choose toll roads to get them to their destinations than in year’s past.

The new report, 2015 Report on Tolling in the U.S., reveals that the number of trips drivers have taken on tolls roads has increased 14 percent over the last four years, rising from 5 billion trips in 2011 to 5.7 billion in 2015. Additionally, the Federal Highway Administration shows a 9 percent increase in the miles of toll roads in the United States from 5,431 miles in 2011 to over 5,932 miles as of 2013.

“Our report shows drivers and policymakers alike are continuing to see the benefits of toll roads now located in 34 states throughout the country,” said Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO of IBTTA. “Throughout this summer’s driving season, more reliable trip times and overall improved mobility provided by well-maintained and well-designed toll roads are providing drivers the premium benefits they seek.”

New Technologies Increasing Mobility

The report released by IBTTA also shows that Americans continue to embrace new technologies being developed by the tolling industry, including all-electronic tolling (AET). With AET there is no waiting in long lines, idling in traffic or throwing quarters in a basket.

In fact, the findings show there are 37 million electronic toll accounts across the United States This is an increase of 20 perent percent in the past five years. And for nearly every account, there are multiple drivers, doubling the number of drivers using all-electronic tolling regularly.

Greater Safety and Lower Fatality Rates

The report released also shows that the fatality rate on toll roads is about one-third (0.50) the rate of all U.S. roads (1.47 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.)

For example, the fatality rate on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is about one-fourth the fatality rate for all national roadways: 0.27 (PTC) versus a national rate of 1.12 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles over the past 5 years. Furthermore, when compared to all roadways within Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has about one-fifth of the fatality rate. The fatality rate on all Pennsylvania roads over the last 5 years is 1.25 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles.

One major reason for the improved safety on toll roads is because they are typically operated centrally on a 24-hour basis from modern operations centers linked to dedicated maintenance, emergency response and police personnel. In fact, more than $14 billion in capital investment was made over three years by the top 40 U.S. toll facilities.

Fast Facts

• 5.7 million trips per year on tolled roads and crossings in the United States.

• Tolls roads have one-third the fatality rate compared to regular roads.

• More than $13 billion in toll revenues were collected in the United States in 2013.

• More Americans embrace tolling once they have actually traveled on a toll road and experienced first-hand the greater safety and traffic flow.

• Eighty-four percent of Americans feel tolls should be considered as a primary source of transportation revenue or on a project-by-project basis. (Source: HNTB Corporation Survey, 2010)

The Top 10 U.S. Toll Agencies By Mileage

1. Oklahoma Turnpike Authority — 605

2. Florida Turnpike Enterprise — 594

3. New York State Thruway Authority — 570

4. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission — 554

5. New Jersey Turnpike Authority — 321

6. Illinois Tollway — 286

7. Ohio Turnpike Authority and Infrastructure Commission — 241

8. Kansas Turnpike Authority — 236

9. Indiana Toll Road (ITR) Concession Company LLC — 157

10. Maryland Transportation Authority — 146

In 2013, IBTTA launched Moving America Forward, a public awareness campaign that highlights the benefits of tolling to policymakers, the media, and other interested parties.

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