In Miami, the cost to implement open road tolling (ORT) on five expressway segments was estimated at $56.5 million.

March 2006
Miami,Florida,United States

Summary Information

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) owns and operates a network of five expressway segments covering 31 centerline miles of freeway in metropolitan Miami. To expand mobility, a plan was developed to convert toll operations to open road tolling (ORT). The system would function based on revenues derived from vehicle identification and toll account (or violation history) management. Toll booths with pay-cash options would be eliminated. Travelers would be required to have an in-vehicle transponder (i.e., SunPass or equivalent) or pay a premium to make use of a video tolling option.

CAPITAL COSTS (In-lane tolling and surveillance equipment, and communications)

ORT program capital costs are estimated at $56.5 million (FY2006 through FY2011): $20.8 million for project development, public outreach, and system-wide technology development (e.g., back office processing); and $35.7 million for infrastructure and roadside technology along the five expressway segments. The fiber optic backbone needed to connect the roadside equipment to the host location will be provided by others; hence, the associated cost was not included in the above estimate.

Similar roadside ORT tolling equipment will be deployed at each location on the network, varied only by the number of lanes equipped. Gantries at ramps will be designed to cover two or more lanes allowing vehicles to detour onto shoulders during maintenance activities.

The following technologies were highlighted:
  • Lane controllers with primary and backup units connected to the roadside Ethernet local area network (LAN).
  • Electronic toll collection (ETC) hardware to support SunPass ETC activity.
  • Video camera hardware (cameras, housings and lights) to support video toll operations and violation enforcement.
  • In-pavement smart loops for vehicle classification.
  • Closed-circuit television (CCTV) with one camera per gantry to provide traffic surveillance, testing of vehicle classification equipment, and monitoring for possible abuses of the system.
  • Gigabit Ethernet Switches and communications gear in the buildings, provided as part of the ORT system, for use with the fiber optic backbone provided by others. The Gigabit Ethernet backbone will provide high bandwidth direct connections between the roadside field equipment and the Host and Violation Processing Center (VPC) over the fiber optic cable. The interface to the Gigabit Ethernet backbone at each cabinet and/or utility building will be implemented with hardened Ethernet switches.
ANNUAL OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE COSTS (Plaza staffing, toll system O&M, IT systems O&M, and building O&M)

ORT will reduce staffing requirements at toll booths, but increase staff required for back office account management, customer service, video imaging review, and VPC activities. With respect to service center operations, operating costs will vary depending on the volume of video images that must be reviewed and processed. To minimize these costs, MDX encourages customers to sign up for transponders instead of video tolling. The data below drawn from Table 6.2 of the source report highlight the potential impacts of increased transponder participation (FY2010).

85% Participation on 5 ORT Routes75% Participation on 5 ORT Routes
Video Customer Service Center Operations Cost
ORT System O&M Costs
Total ORT Operations Costs

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Miami-Dade Expressway Authority: Open Road Tolling Master Plan 2007—2011

Author: Dade Transportation Consultants

Published By: Miami-Dade Expressway Authority

Source Date: March 2006


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Cost ID: 2008-00169