TDOT Toll System Feasibility Study Peer Review

Study Overview

As part of the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Toll System Feasibility Study, Wilbur Smith Associates reviewed toll agencies around the United States to evaluate existing and potential administrative structures for implementing and managing a toll system within the State of Tennessee. The purpose of this task is to determine best practices, organizational arrangements, and lessons learned from those with experience in planning and operating toll facilities.This report was intended to advise TDOT and the TN General Assembly on additional options to generate revenue for transportation projects. 

Major Findings

On behalf of TDOT, Wilbur Smith Associates contacted representatives of the selected toll agencies (North Carolina Turnpike Agency, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Florida Turnpike Enterprise, Texas Turnpike Authority, and Maryland Transportation Authority) to request their participation in the peer review. All five agencies agreed to participate in a conference call meeting to discuss topics related to the agency's authorizing legislation, organizational structure, operational matters, finance tools, and general lessons learned in operating toll facilities. 


Wilbur Smith Associates asked each agency for its lessons learned. The five agencies that were queried echoed four common issues for TDOT to consider.
- Customer Service: All five agencies felt that responsiveness to customers was critical to their mission and ultimate acceptability. Failure of a toll agency to be perceived as "adding value" increases the difficulty of the agency to develop and manage an efficient toll road network.
- Toll System: All five agencies felt that it was important to develop a system or network of toll facilities, instead of creating separate stand alone toll roads.
- Planning Process: In order to successfully develop toll roads, all five agencies emphasized the need for an open and transparent process that is inclusive of all stakeholders.
- Education: The five agencies felt it was very important to educate customers, legislators, other elected officials, and stakeholders about the role of, and need for, toll roads in a state's transportation plan. A specific message needing emphasis is a lack of federal funding to add new capacity, and how tolls help to fill this funding gap. 





  • TDOT Toll System Feasibility Study Peer Review

Completion Date

  • 2006


  • Wilbur Smith Associates

Study Partners

  • TDOT
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