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5.0 Toll Collection Equipment Technology

5.1.1 State-of-the-Practice

U.S. agencies historically have procured automatic coin machines manufactured by a variety of vendors with varying performance capabilities and features. The following list provides the names of some of the better known vendors in the toll industry:

The industry has since experienced some consolidation and the last three companies listed above currently capture the largest market share of new procurements. Although electronic toll collection (ETC) has eroded sales of ACMs, agencies continue to purchase coin machines, particularly for ramp plazas, to accommodate customers without ETC transponders and to minimize labor costs. All automatic coin machines include a reject receptacle to collect foreign coins, slugs and other invalid objects tossed into the basket. Depending on the agency’s preference, the reject receptacle may be accessible to the customer to retrieve the invalid object. The ACM may also include an integral receipt printer and card reader to read either agency issued cards or credit cards for payment purposes. Although these devices reduce throughput, the card reader can result in less violations, albeit small.

The user is expected to drive-up next to this automated collection equipment without hitting the equipment with their vehicle. A more hazardous condition results when the vehicle stops too far from the equipment and the user either misses the basket with coins or tokens or is unable to reach the ticket, resulting in the user either fully or partially leaving their vehicle to deposit the toll or take a ticket. Given over 50% of lanes with an ACM or ATIM also include ETC equipment based on the survey results, a following ETC equipped vehicle intent on not stopping in the lane can cause a very unsafe situation for a person not safely buckled into their vehicle. Consequently, proper placement and visibility of the equipment is important to ensure the user gets into correct position to deposit coins or take a ticket.


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