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Consultation on Toll Systems Project begins

15 September 2004

Consultation on Toll Systems Project begins

Transit New Zealand today announced the start of consultation on its Toll Systems Project. The Toll Systems Project aims to develop a national strategic approach to the standards that apply to the collection and processing functions of toll transactions for future toll roads throughout New Zealand.

“With the Land Transport Management Act’s provision for funding new roads through tolling, it is important that New Zealand take a long-term approach to toll collection and processing to minimise inefficiencies and potential interoperability problems,” says Rick van Barneveld, Transit CEO.

Initial work on toll system development has been done as part of the first toll road proposal under the Act – the SH1 Northern Motorway extension (ALPURT B2). In this context, Transit considered it appropriate to consider how all future toll roads could be compatible and operate in an integrated way.

Following the results of a feasibility study commissioned earlier this year, Transit is proposing a free-flow electronic toll collection system and a nationally integrated toll management system. Transit has been working closely with international advisers who have experience in developing and running toll systems.

“We wanted to assess the best option for meeting the objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy. The feasibility study reviewed a number of toll collection and management systems and concluded that electronic toll collection supported by a nationally integrated toll management system would offer the most benefits to road users,” said Mr. van Barneveld.

A key benefit of the proposal is that it will provide road users with seamless road toll experiences wherever they are in the country. A national system would also provide for economies of scale and efficiencies by avoiding the need for separate toll systems for each toll road. The system would also have the flexibility to meet new technology demands and to cope with any changes in the tolling system.

Consultation will provide an opportunity to comment on the proposal and provide feedback to Transit. If there is support for the proposal, Transit will seek funding from the National Land Transport Programme for further investigation and design of a national toll system.

The cost of the implementation phase of the Toll Systems Project is estimated to be between $15 million and $60 million, depending on the number of toll projects included in the national system, the aggregate volume of transactions these projects generate and the final cost of the toll system selected. Separate from this, the capital costs of roadside infrastructure for individual toll road projects would be funded from the revenue from tolls collected on that road.

Once funding is secured the proposal will be refined in consultation with key stakeholders, particularly in terms of procedures to implement the system, institutional arrangements for collecting revenues and managing toll facilities, and policies for addressing issues such as privacy, violation enforcement.

“With input from stakeholders, we have an opportunity to establish a toll management system that ranks among the best in the world,” said Mr. van Barneveld.

More information and submission forms are available online at www.transit.govt.nz/national_tolls/ “Consultation” or from Transit offices. The submission period closes on 18 October 2004.


Background information

The project

The Toll Systems Project aims to develop a national strategic approach to the standards that apply to the collection and processing functions of toll transactions for future toll roads throughout New Zealand.

The project will determine the key policies and procedures necessary to implement national standards for tolling systems These will include the appropriate institutional arrangements and systems for collecting toll revenues and managing toll facilities. The project will also determine the policies for addressing key issues such as privacy and violation enforcement.

A five-year timeframe is anticipated for the project, from an initial feasibility study through to its implementation. The timing is intended to ensure the system is established before the completion of the first proposed state highway toll road, under the Land Transport Management Act 2003, the SH1 Northern Motorway extension (ALPURT B2).
Phase I Initial feasibility study to select proposed National Toll Collection System April 2004 (completed)
Phase II(a) Consultation on the project for NLTP funding September 2004 – November 2004
Phase II(b) Development of functional specifications 2004 – 2005
Phase III Detailed functional specifications and procurement 2005 – 2006
Phase IV Detailed design 2007
Phase V Implementation and commissioning By December 2008

Proposed toll system

Transit is proposing a free-flow electronic toll collection system and a nationally integrated toll management system. The national toll management system would also be available to other Road Controlling Authorities (on a transaction fee basis) to provide coordinated management for the collection, processing and enforcement of toll fees for any toll road projects.

An electronic toll collection system would involve vehicles being identified electronically on the toll road for example via a transponder (mounted in the vehicle) or video image, with the toll deducted from an established account or the vehicle owner invoiced later.

A nationally integrated toll management system would provide for economies of scale and efficiencies by avoiding the need for separate toll systems for each toll road. Electronic toll collection offers the greatest benefits in terms of achieving free-flow traffic conditions on toll roads, by minimising inconvenience to road users and reducing safety risks.

It is proposed that customer enquiries, account management, revenue management and enforcement would use the existing infrastructure of the Ministry of Transport in the Transport Registry Centre (TRC). This is administered by the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA). The TRC already provides billing and customer service functions and is experienced in enforcement, specifically in relation to Road User Charges and Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing. Other services required for the functionality of the Toll Systems Project could be provided by the TRC, the private sector or some form of joint venture between the two.

Funding

Transit proposes to seek funding for the investigation and design of the Toll Systems Project under the National Land Transport Programme. This recognises the national benefits of facilitating the development of tolling systems, in accordance with the provisions of the LTMA.

However, the capital costs of the roadside infrastructure for individual toll projects would be funded from the revenue from the tolls on the road.

The capital and ongoing costs of the toll management system for all toll roads would be determined in partnership with the Ministry of Transport, Transfund and other Road Controlling Authorities. Eventually however, with sufficient traffic volumes, the project would become self-funding.

Consultation

The consultation process seeks to understand the views and preferences of stakeholders on Transit’s proposals for an integrated tolling system, in particular:

The proposal to implement free-flow electronic toll collection and an integrated single toll management system The role of the Transport Registry Centre within the toll management system The road user experience.

If the consultation process finds support for this proposal it will be refined, particularly in terms of procedures to implement the system, institutional arrangements for collecting revenues and managing toll facilities, and policies for addressing issues such as privacy and violation enforcement.

Further information and submission forms are available online at www.transit.govt.nz/national_tolls/ “Consultation” or from Transit offices. Further queries can be emailed to tsp@transit.govt.nz

Consultation timeline

September 2004 Commence consultation with those listed under Section 15 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003 using written correspondence and personal meetings as appropriate Public submissions open
18 October 2004 Submission period closes

October/November 2004 Summary of submissions and notification of hearing Hearing(s) held (pursuant to special consultative procedures, Schedule 2, Land Transport Management Act 2003)

November/December 2004 Hearing deliberation and reporting Documentation of consultation process Preparation of submission to Transfund to include the Toll Systems Project in the National Land Transport Programme

ENDS

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