Contract awarded for extension to Suncoast Parkway | San Diego agency refinances toll road debt | Md. to add tolls, consider transit options
November 17, 2017
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Moving Smarter
86% used E-ZPass after open-road tolling conversion in Mass.
A year ago, the Massachusetts Turnpike switched to open-road tolling, and the state's Department of Transportation says nearly half a billion transactions have been processed. Around 86% of travelers used an E-ZPass to pay tolls, and MassDOT says the move has reduced commute times.
WGGB-TV (Springfield, Mass.) (11/16) 
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Tolling Today
Contract awarded for extension to Suncoast Parkway
A four-lane, 13-mile extension is planned for the Suncoast Parkway north of Tampa, Fla., and Lane Construction Corp. -- a subsidiary of Salini Impregilo -- won a $134.6 million contract to build one of the two sections. Construction could begin in 2018, and will include 15 bridges.
The Construction Index (UK) (11/16) 
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San Diego agency refinances toll road debt
A private company built the South Bay Expressway toll road at a cost of $658 million, but later went bankrupt. The San Diego Association of Governments bought it for $351 million, and recently refinanced the debt in a move will save $147 million over 26 years.
Times of San Diego (11/16) 
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Md. to add tolls, consider transit options
Maryland plans to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, but officials in Montgomery County want more transit options. They say taking more vehicles off the road might be better than expanding the congested highways, and Pete Rahn, the state's transportation secretary, said that could be part of the discussion when the state hires a private company to design and build the toll lanes.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (11/16),  Bethesda Magazine online (Md.) (11/16) 
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Technology
Mich. launches Flex Route traffic management system
Flex Route is a new traffic management system deployed by the Michigan Department of Transportation on US 23. It uses overhead signs, electronic message boards and mounted cameras to provide lane control, especially during peak hours.
Traffic Technology Today (U.K.) (11/16) 
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A look at the future with autonomous vehicles
A future of autonomous driving will result in safer, cleaner and more efficient vehicles, writes Ian Bogost. This future also means that choosing, operating and maintaining vehicles will become less relevant to the public.
The Atlantic online (11/15) 
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Autonomous-car testing may be coming soon to Calif. roadways
Testing of autonomous vehicles could begin early in 2018 on California roadways following the release of guidelines from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. The guidelines, which require a driver to be able to take control of the test car, have led to 43 companies being approved for testing in the state.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/14) 
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Finance and Funding
Tax bill clears House
The House has passed a bill to significantly change taxation, including $1.5 trillion in cuts for individuals and companies. The overhaul, backed by President Donald Trump, heads to the Senate, which is developing a bill that has major differences from the House measure.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (11/16),  Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/16),  TIME online (11/16) 
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Policy and Legislation
Autonomous-vehicle makers may get safeguards against lawsuits in Calif.
A recommendation from General Motors would give makers of self-driving vehicles safeguards from lawsuits if an owner fails to maintain a vehicle as outlined by the manufacturer. The California Department of Motor Vehicles likes the idea, but trade groups warn that manufacturers could pass the maintenance burden to consumers in order to shift liability in accidents -- exposing autonomous-car users to legal risk.
The Associated Press (11/16) 
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IBTTA News
Go Platinum in 2018
Have you thought about going Platinum? As a Platinum Sponsor, your company is front and center, with tangible benefits all year long. Small and large companies alike can become visible thought leaders and increase brand recognition. To learn more about Platinum Sponsorship, please contact Mary Cadwallader via email or phone at 202-659-4620 x19.
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Save these dates in 2018
IBTTA has announced its meetings, workshops and summits in 2018. There is a new pattern in 2018, so please make note, save these dates and plan accordingly. Two to note, the AET, Managed Lanes and Technology Summit will be held April 22-24 and the Annual Meeting and Exhibition will be held Oct. 14-17.
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