Hard-cased toll transponder tags typically cost $15.00 to $20.00 per unit; newer and cheaper transponder stickers designed using ISO Standards (6C protocol) cost $1.20 to $10.00 per unit.

A standardized regulatory impact assessment conducted by Caltrans.

California; United States

Summary Information

In California, regulatory changes in 2016 supported a transition from the Title 21 (T21) hard-cased electronic toll collection (ETC) protocol commonly used across the United States, to a newer and cheaper transponder sticker technology identified in ISO Standard 18000-63, also known as the 6C protocol.

Although toll agencies were initially expected to incur additional costs to purchase 6C transponders and related equipment, retrofit ETC systems, and dispose of old equipment, these costs were found to be minimal when compared to the overall savings and benefits of using the new system, and realized savings from the transition were anticipated within one year.

The baseline scenario for the economic analysis is highlighted below:

Direct Cost Estimation Inputs (2015$) – Proposed 6C Regulation
6C Proposed Regulation
T21 Baseline
PeriodNo. of Units Per Year (Millions)Unit PricePeriodNo. of Units Per Year (Million)Unit Price
Equipment PurchasesSystem Retrofit2017-18Statewide Upgrades$2.4 million---
Transponder Purchases (Switchable)2019-240.490 - 1.7$10.00 2019-240.440 - 0.730$20.00
Transponder Purchases (Non-switchable)2018-240.960 - 3.3$1.20 2019-240.850 - 1.4$15.00
O&M CostsTransponder Disposal2018-240 - 3.5$0.28 2019-240.52$0.28
Transponder Shipping2018-241.5 - 4.9T21: $3.00
6C switchable: $3.00
6C non- switchable: $1.00
2019-241.3 - 2.2$3.00

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Transitioning from Title 21 Protocol to the 6C Electronic Toll Collection Protocol: A Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment

Published By: California DOT Caltrans

Source Date: 07/27/2016


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electronic toll collection, ETC, smart tags, EZ Pass, E-Z Pass, EZPass

Cost ID: 2019-00434