E-ZPass, ATI, IBTTA commit to work together for national interoperability
By Peter Samuel
Three toll industry heavyweights the E-ZPass Interagency Group (IAG), the Alliance for Toll Interoperability and IBTTA have come together formally pledging to work together toward the goal of national toll interoperability. Senior officers of the three organizations are signing a two page Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation (MoUaC) in which they say each of the three want to:
- identify and establish processors, systems and standards to advance interoperability and all-electronic tolling
- promote technology demonstrations and certifications
- work for interagency agreements, legislation and other arrangements for toll collections and violations out-of-jurisdiction
- improve mobility for the traveling public via toll interoperability
The MoUaC specifies specific cooperation to:
- exchange calendars of relevant meetings and activities to crossed publicize efforts to promote interoperability
- establish a joint working group of the three organizations to "address challenges" to interoperability and all-electronic tolling
- set up a "Cooperation Committee" where representatives of each meet periodically to discuss interop issues
The MoUaC is signed by three board chairs and three chief executives of the three organizations.
We talked to PJ Wilkins of the IAG and JJ Eden of ATI in a conference call this afternoon. They said the Memorandum is in effect formalizing and committing the three organizations to collaborative action that is already under way informally.
Eden says the last year has seen terrific progress that has been facilitated by cooperation of the kind laid out in the Memorandum and says it is "cool" to memorialize the shared commitment of the three associations to begin to implement interoperability after years of talking about it.
Wilkins told us it helps people like Frank McCartney, IAG President when they talk to chairman Mica of the US House Transportation Committee or other legislators to have the MoUaC as documentation of the strong industrywide determination to do interoperability, and to do it within the industry.
We remembered that five to ten years ago the IAG line on interoperability was: "We have interoperability within E-ZPass, just join the IAG. We're open to all."
Wilkins says the IAG is proud of being the world's largest practitioner of toll interoperability catering to 24 tollers in 14 states with 22 million transponders, covering some 70% of the tolls collected in the US. And it remains open to any to join, he said.
However "times have changed" and "there are other valid technologies".
As a result, he said the E-ZPass group is now committed to working with the other technologies and tollers outside the group for the common good.
Eden and Wilkins said there is active cooperation also with AAMVA the association of motor vehicle administrators who influence policy on license plate formats and the exchange of license plate information across state lines.
Initially that focussed on handling of toll violations but they are now discussing license plate based toll billing.
copy of MoUaC: