Boston — The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) named CDM Smith’s National Interstate Tolling Analysis Tool its Private Sector Innovation award winner in the 2016 International Toll Excellence Awards competition. IBTTA’s awards recognize the best projects and programs in the international tolling industry. The Private Sector Innovation award is given to an IBTTA private-sector member whose project has furthered the mission of IBTTA and the tolling industry by demonstrating relevance to contemporary and future tolling industry needs, providing lessons, strategies and techniques that can be used or adapted, or reflecting a significant contribution to the industry.
All of the winners, listed on IBTTA’s website at http://ibtta.org/toll-excellence-awards, will receive their awards on Sept. 12, 2016, during IBTTA’s 84th Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Denver.
CDM Smith developed the National Interstate Tolling Analysis Tool for the Federal Highway Administration as part of a major study. This computer model can be used as a sketch-level planning resource by users without formal knowledge of traffic modeling to estimate the traffic impacts and revenue potential of tolling all or segments of the currently toll-free Interstate System.
“The tool is designed so that anyone with basic knowledge about tolling, but not necessarily a traffic modeling background, can analyze tolling scenarios,” said Zubair Ghafoor, CDM Smith senior transportation planner and the tool’s developer. “A variety of parameters can be manipulated—tolling by route, state or individual location, as well as on major interstate bridges based on length criteria established by the user—and it has the ability to incorporate large-scale, updated data sets seamlessly to ensure estimates are up to date and accurate.”
With an intuitive interface, the tool allows users to test scenarios on the entire Interstate Highway System in 48 U.S. states as well as most other competing major roads and highways and currently tolled facilities. The tool uses a national traffic zone system comprising more than 3,000 counties in the nation — many of which were disaggregated in larger urban areas — yielding a total of nearly 7,500 traffic zones. It also includes information from National Bridge Inventory for major bridges on the Interstate System. For any proposed interstate tolling scenario, the tool helps users estimate how much revenue will be generated, capital costs to implement tolling, operation and maintenance costs, various impacts on toll-free facilities and the economic value of those impacts.
“This tool is a good example of the integration of several large national datasets in a computational environment to provide meaningful information to its users,” said Ghafoor. “We are continuing to enhance and add features to this tool to provide best value to our clients and the tolling community at large and are humbled to receive this award from IBTTA. We look forward to continue delivering technological solutions that address modern transportation challenges.”