Bata Marketing Strategy 4 TO BATA Oversight Committee DATE by xqa73108


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TO: BATA Oversight Committee                                         DATE: June 7, 2006

FR: Executive Director                                                  W. I. 1252

RE: Resolution No. 69, FasTrak® Strategic Plan

Please find enclosed the FasTrak® Strategic Plan, which was presented to the Committee
at its May 10, 2006 meeting. Since the draft report was presented to the Committee, we
have sought and received public comment on the plan. We are recommending that the
Committee refer the plan (BATA Resolution No. 69) to the full Authority for approval.


This update of the Strategic Plan lays out a comprehensive strategy for the
implementation of improvements for the FasTrak® program, including implementation
of additional FasTrak®-only lanes and supporting infrastructure improvements,
implementing a comprehensive marketing program to inform motorists of the benefits of
the program, and increasing the ease for motorists to obtain a FasTrak® toll tag. The Plan
is intended be a roadmap for implementing a number of short-term improvements and to
set the stage for a longer-term modernization of the toll collection system for the state
owned bridges in the Bay Area.

Recommendations for System Improvements

The near term system goals and objectives for the Strategic Plan system improvements
are as follows:

   1. Increase peak period FasTrak® usage to 70% and increase weekend usage to 50%
      over a two-year period to increase throughput and provide faster travel times at
      the toll plazas.
   2. Convert additional lanes on bridges to FasTrak®-only and implement supporting
      infrastructure to meet 70% FasTrak® throughput.
   3. Increase FasTrak® customer convenience and services.
   4. Test and implement new tolling technologies to improve operational efficiencies.

Lane and Infrastructure Improvements

The Plan proposes that a total of 10 new permanent FasTrak®-only lanes be added to the
state-owned bridges, including an Open Road Tolling concept for the new Benicia-
Martinez Bridge toll plaza (The proposed lane diagrams for each of the state-owned
bridges are shown in Attachment A). The additional permanent FasTrak®-only lanes will
increase the total number of FasTrak®-only lanes on all of the state-owned bridges from
about 25% presently to about 38% of total lanes. The proposed conversion of FasTrak®-
only lanes for each of the bridges provides enough FasTrak® throughput to accommodate
FasTrak® usage to 70%.

A key component of the lane and infrastructure plan includes 1) grouping the FasTrak®-
only lanes together to the left side and cash to the right side of the toll plazas and plaza
approaches; 2) installing changeable message signs (CMSs) prior to toll plazas and at toll
plazas to allow the number of FasTrak®-only and cash lanes to vary by day-of-week or to
vary over time; and 3) implementing pavement striping for the FasTrak-only lanes,
which extends upstream as far as is practically possible in order to provide the maximum
advantage to FasTrak customers.

                   Table 1 – Proposed Increase in FasTrak®-only Lanes

                          Current                                               Proposed
  Bridge         Current Current               Current             Proposed    Proposed    Added
                 FasTrak- Cash                  Delay              FasTrak-      Cash    Cash Lane
                   only   Lanes                                     only (1)    Lanes      Delay
Antioch             1       2                    Minor                 1          2          0
Benicia-            1       8                   12 min.                3          7       0-5 min.
Carquinez             3             9            Minor                  5         7      25-30 min.
Dumbarton             2             4            5 min.                 3         3      30-35 min.
Richmond-             1             6            5 min.                 2         4      10-15 min.
San Rafael
San                   7            13        25 min. (am)               9        11       0-5 min.
Francisco-                                   11 min. (pm)                                5-10 min.
San Mateo-            2             8                                   4         6       0-5 min.
TOTAL                17            50                                  27        40
(1) Includes lane configuration for new Benicia-Martinez bridge toll plaza.

As shown in Table 1, the additional FasTrak®-only lanes will result in a reduction in the
number of cash lanes and cash handling capacity for each of the bridges. Based on our
analysis, at current FasTrak® usage levels, the reduction in cash capacity on the bridges

will cause cash paying customers to experience added delays at some of the bridge toll
plazas, especially on the Carquinez and Dumbarton Bridges. However, our analysis also
indicates that if FasTrak® usage can increase by 5 percent to 10 percent, over the next
year, traffic impacts for cash paying customers due to the reduced cash lanes would be

Additionally, we are proposing to examine methods to improve the throughput of the
FasTrak®-only lanes on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza, including
increasing the cycle speed of the metering lights for the FasTrak®-only lanes. As stated
in the report, the metering lights at the Bay Bridge toll plaza, which are turned on when
the bridge reaches capacity, eliminate any travel time advantage for FasTrak® users and
at some times create longer back-ups in the FasTrak® lanes as in the cash lanes. We are
proposing to evaluate and test revisions to the operation of the metering lights that could
provide a travel advantage to FasTrak® users.

For the new Benicia-Martinez Bridge, we are recommending the introduction of “Open
Road Tolling” (ORT) at the new toll plaza that is currently under construction. ORT
allows motorists to proceed through a tolling facility at highway speeds using their
FasTrak® toll tag. Implementation of ORT increases vehicle throughput and improves
safety by separating high speed traffic from slower moving traffic. The implementation
of an ORT system at the Benicia-Martinez bridge toll plaza will require that some
recently constructed toll booths at the plaza be removed.

FasTrak Marketing Plan and Business Rule Revisions

An ongoing and aggressive marketing plan for the FasTrak® system that informs
motorists of the benefits of FasTrak®, explains the ease of signing up for the program,
and provides incentives for using the system is recommend to be implemented over the
next year leading to the opening of the proposed new FasTrak®-only lanes. The proposed
marketing activities and business rule revisions include the following:

       1) Marketing, Advertising & Public Awareness Campaigns: We are proposing to
          launch three major media campaigns between the release of the FasTrak®
          Strategic Plan (May 2006) and the opening of new FasTrak®-only lanes on
          the bridges (April 2007). The campaigns will include expanding the media
          for the advertisement of FasTrak® (e.g. radio, print, television, etc.),
          providing financial incentive programs (e.g. limited $10 free toll program for
          motorists opening new accounts), and implementing additional temporary and
          permanent signage at the toll plazas and bridge approaches advertising the
          FasTrak program.

       2) Retail Distribution of Toll Tags: Over the past several months, we have been
          working with retail establishments to introduce the FasTrak® toll tags as a
          retail product. The ability for motorists to quickly and effortlessly obtain a
          FasTrak toll tag is key to expanding use and acceptance of FasTrak®.

       3) San Francisco Airport (SFO) Parking Application: An additional important
          aspect of the marketing of the FasTrak® program is to provide motorists with
          other uses of the FasTrak® toll tags that provide a convenience to motorists.
          BATA and GGBHTD are currently working with SFO staff to implement a
          FasTrak® parking application at the SFO parking facilities. In general, SFO
          will designate lanes for FasTrak® use and install FasTrak® readers and
          associated equipment in select lanes in their parking facilities.

       4) Pre-paid Toll Balance and Toll Tag Deposit Business Rules: During the past
          several months, we have heard from potential customers that they were
          discouraged from signing up for FasTrak® because of the current pre-paid toll
          charge of $40. In several instances, respondents mentioned that the pre-paid
          toll balance is viewed as a cost of the program, which is more than the
          occasional bridge users are willing to commit. To encourage increased
          FasTrak® use and to ensure the program is affordable to all potential users,
          we are proposing that 1) the pre-paid toll balance for new accounts be reduced
          from $40 to $25, and 2) deposits for toll tags be reduced from $30 to $20.

Implementation Schedule

The implementation of all of the FasTrak® improvements is scheduled as follows:

                    Activity                                  Target

Implement major marketing campaigns                May 2006 through June 2007
Launch initial retail distribution                 August 2006
Deploy SFO parking application                     September 2006
Construct and install sign and sign structures     October 2006 through March 2007
Open new FasTrak®-only Lanes                       April 2007
Install ORT at Benicia-Martinez Bridge             June through August 2007

System Budget

Over the past several years, the operating costs for manual toll collections and FasTrak®
operations have both been increasing. For manual toll collections, although Caltrans
staffing levels have decreased due to the implementation of FasTrak®-only lanes, the
cost of manual toll collections has slightly increased due to increases in salaries and
benefits. Implementation of additional FasTrak®-only lanes will result in decreased
manual toll collection costs. Based on our analysis, due to the addition of FasTrak®-only
lanes as proposed, in FY 2007-08, Caltrans manual toll collection expenses are projected
to be about $3.0 million less than current toll collections expenses. Caltrans has indicated
that the proposed toll collection staffing reductions can be accomplished partly through

 attrition and partly through reassignment to other positions within Caltrans. No layoffs
 will occur.

 As shown in Table 2, we estimate that the cost of the marketing activities and the capital
 improvements, including new signs and sign structures and implementation of the ORT
 system on the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, totals about $26,000,000.

                                       Table 2
              Strategic Plan Marketing and Capital Improvement Budget

                                                           FY 2006-07        FY 2006-07
                                                            Budget        Revenue/Funding

Marketing/Toll Discount Plan
    Marketing Campaigns                                      $1,200,000 Operating Budget
    Retail Distribution Program (Commissions, etc.)           $575,000 Operating Budget
    Free Tolls for New Accounts (e.g. $10 temporary free
 toll program for new accounts)                               $500,000 Operating Budget
    Temporary $1.00 Toll Discount (January 2007)             $5,000,000   Revenues
                                           Subtotal          $7,275,000

Lane Infrastructure Improvements
                                                                           Capital Rehab.
    Sign & Sign Structure PSR, PS&E                          $1,900,000      Program
    CMS, Fixed Signs, Sign Structures and Booth                            Capital Rehab.
    Demolitions                                             $15,000,000      Program
                                                                           Capital Rehab.
    Benicia ORT Implementation                               $2,000,000      Program
                                     Subtotal               $18,900,000

TOTAL                                                       $26,175,000

 Public Comment

 Since the Committee approved release of the plan for public comment on May 10, 2006,
 we have received 10 written comments and approximately 7 telephone calls from the
 public on the plan (the written public comments received and responses are included as
 Attachment A). The limited number of comments we received were mixed. A few of the
 public comments expressed concern that the plan proposes potentially delaying cash
 paying customers due to the addition of FasTrak®-only lanes on the bridges. Other
 comments expressed the desire that added measures should be taken to ensure that non-
 FasTrak® users do not encroach into FasTrak®-only lanes approaching the toll plazas
 and that the cycle times should be increased for the metering lights in the FasTrak®-only
 lanes on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. We also received comments that

discounts for FasTrak® use would be the most effective method to attract additional
FasTrak® users.


We recommend that the Committee refer the FasTrak® Strategic Plan (Resolution No.
69) to the Authority for approval. An outline and schedule of proposed subsequent
Committee and Authority approvals to implement the FasTrak® Strategic Plan is
included in Attachment B.

                                    Steve Heminger

                     Attachment A
FasTrak® Strategic Plan Public Comments and Responses

                                Attachment B
     Outline of BATA Approvals for FasTrak® Strategic Plan Implementation

     Date                                      Approvals

June 2006              Approval of FasTrak® Strategic Plan

                       ACS Contract Change Order #7:
                          o Business Accounts/Postage Increase
                          o May 2006 Marketing Promotion

July 2006              Revisions to business rules for Tag Deposit and Prepaid

                       Authorization for Executive Director to enter into agreement
                        with SFO and approval of FasTrak® business rule revisions for
                        SFO/FasTrak® parking application.

                       Authorization for Executive Director to enter into agreement
                        with retail establishments for FasTrak® toll tag retail
                        distribution program.

                       Revision to the Toll Schedule to allow all FasTrak® users to
                        receive a $1.00 discount from January 1, 2007 to January 31,

September 2006         Contract award for manufacturer of signage (CMS and fixed
                        signs) and sign structures.

                       Contract award for construction oversight services for
                        installation of signage and sign structures

                       Contract award for Open Road Tolling contractor for Benicia
                        Martinez Bridge toll plaza


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