Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, which manages the statewide SunPass system used on 460 miles of Florida’s toll highways, announced that it has selected TransCore’s eGo Plus radio frequency identification sticker tag to upgrade its current technology that has been in use since the late 1990s. The paper-thin batteryless tags will be sold as the SunPass “Mini” and will be available this summer at regular SunPass outlets. The multimillion dollar order is for 1.5 million eGo Plus tags.
The newer, more versatile and affordable tags overcome the cost barrier to widespread adoption of electronic toll collection technology, making it more attractive to migrate to all-electronic toll roads and increase the number of customers who pay tolls wirelessly versus manually, TransCore says. The more than three million hardcase SunPass tags currently in use will work alongside the new “mini” tags. Around the country, the eGo Plus technology also has been adopted for high-speed tolling by Houston’s Harris County Toll Road Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Washington Department of Transportation, TransCore says.
As technology continues to erase boundaries and convenience becomes central to customer service, acceptance of wireless payments systems for other applications such as paying for parking or access to gated communities has grown. Throughout Florida, the use and ease of the SunPass system has spread to airport parking operations, with airports in the midst of deploying interoperable payment systems in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach.
“Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving motorists’ experience by implementing innovative open-road tolling designs and providing newer interoperable technology,” says John Simler, president of TransCore’s intelligent transportation systems group. “After a decade of providing SunPass RFID technology, TransCore recognized the need to provide FTE with next-generation technology to support evolving transportation needs.”
With the growing interest in “greener” technology, the newer, sleeker, batteryless technology also provides environmental benefits, TransCore says. As more customers shift to paying tolls electronically, this reduces congestion and eliminates idle times at toll plazas, significantly reducing vehicle emissions and improving air quality. The smaller-profile tag also consumes less petroleum-based raw material to manufacture and reduces transportation and shipping requirements, according to the company. The batteryless design of the tag eliminates the additional cost and demand for batteries, as well as subsequent storage and disposal requirements.