SRTA Receives Top Award from Tolling Association for Commuter Credits Pilot Program

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, September 29th, 2017

The State Road and Tollway Authority has been recognized with an award considered the highest honor in the international toll industry – the President’s Award from the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association.

SRTA was recognized for its innovative Commuter Credits Pilot Program, which was launched in 2015 to provide alternatives to driving alone during the peak periods on Atlanta's congested I-85 corridor.

SRTA was one of six groups to receive a Toll Excellence Award from IBTTA, which recognizes innovative strategies to help ease traffic flow, relieve congestion and increase safety for the global driving public.

The President’s Award, chosen from among those recipients, is considered the highest honor within the toll industry.

The award was presented during IBTTA’s 85th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, held Sept. 10-12 in Atlanta.  SRTA also was recognized for its role as host agency of the event.

“SRTA is pleased to be recognized by our peers for our work on the pilot program,” Chris Tomlinson, SRTA executive director, said. “Results show us that commuters are willing to try new methods of transportation given the right incentive. We hope that transit agencies use our experience as a best practice to highlight the benefits of collaboration and cross promotion of services. SRTA plans to continue the efforts as a broader program in conjunction with the opening of the Northwest Corridor tolled Express Lanes in 2018.”

“Whether you are driving in Atlanta or Dubai, the goals of providing customers with greater mobility and safety remain the same,” Patrick Jones, IBTTA executive director and CEO, said. “SRTA is implementing solutions to complex, global transportation challenges.”

The Commuter Credits Pilot Program was created to help commuters think about their transportation in a more integrated way, reduce congestion along I-85 and reduce single occupancy vehicle usage of the state’s Express Lanes during peak hours. The program included three components:

“Ride Transit” – The goal was to shift auto trips during peak periods to Xpress bus trips. The program awarded toll lane credits to people who used Xpress or Gwinnett County Transit routes vs. using their Peach Pass toll accounts during commute periods.

“Shift Commute” –The goal was to see if heavy toll users of the I-85 high occupancy toll lanes would shift their usage away from the most congested peak hour (7 a.m. to 8 a.m.), helping to reduce southbound congestion. The program was by invitation only, to Peach Pass customers who commute four to five times per week during this period.

“Start a Carpool” – The goal was to attract carpools to the Express Lanes. The program was open to carpools with at least one Peach Pass customer and offered multiple incentives.