Creating smart, high-quality transport infrastructure produces better-connected local communities, helping to deliver more sustainable economic growth and improve a region’s overall quality of life. Resilient highways are one of the ways in which countries are looking to prepare for the future.

As an early adopter of free-flow, electronic tolling and interoperability between co-existing tolling systems, Ireland has been at the forefront of the digital transformation of transport across Europe. The priority for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the country’s roads and light rail agency, is to make journeys throughout the country as seamless as possible.

Helping traffic flow across Ireland

Arup has a strong relationship with TII, working as a trusted partner on tolling strategy and advising on operational, governance and procurement management, as well as on the technical evolution and management of tolling schemes.

Our multidisciplinary team have provided comprehensive advice on a range of aspects covering the operation and development of Dublin’s M50 electronic toll collection system, the establishment of a new contractual model for the M50, creating a framework for interoperability at a national level and working to identify opportunities to mitigate risks on a range of emerging issues.

Factors such as sustainability, digital technology, electric vehicles, funding dynamics, mobility patterns and climate change are prompting transport agencies and operators to consider new approaches to road infrastructure delivery and management. Mobility pricing can be used to help deliver key objectives.

With rapidly evolving smart technology, tolling has increasingly become a data-driven business without the need for vast amounts of centralised infrastructure; but while technology drives innovation in processes and operations, it also introduces complexity and risks which need to be managed.

Overseeing the operation of Dublin’s M50 free-flow toll

In Dublin, emovis is the operator of the M50 C-ring orbital highway’s electronic toll collection system. TII appointed us to implement an Operational Management Services team to ensure that eFlow deliver best-in-class services. 

Enforcement management is an important aspect of operating the tolling system. We assist in the strategic planning of enforcement campaigns, including developing campaigns targeting specific customer segments, as well as strategies relating to the pursuit of civil and criminal actions.

Proactive risk management and compliance is a key aspect of ensuring that operations are run securely. We have supported TII to enhance tolling governance and regulatory oversight by capturing and closely monitoring risks which are considered as part of the performance of the toll operation.

Interoperability – the key to seamless journeys in Ireland

Ensuring that tolling tags work across the different service providers to deliver a seamless journey experience for customers is a key project deliverable. With Arup helping establish the contractual framework for interoperability between providers, Ireland has paved the way in Europe.

TII has enabled this interoperability through a hub which facilitates the ‘swapping’ of user payments among providers to the correct toll charger. Arup provides ongoing governance and oversight of this interoperability hub, together with the management of a range of tolling-related schemes and incentives for tolling customers across Ireland.

Arup recently supported a procurement competition for the delivery and operation of a next generation interoperability management platform, which also included the successful mobilisation and transition to a new operator of the interoperability service. This was the latest in a series of complex change projects that Arup has supported within the tolling business.

Planning for the future of mobility pricing

As part of our tolling operations support services, we are also advising TII on a broad range of emerging technologies and mobility issues. Increased urbanisation and population growth in cities, climate change and air quality challenges, improving safety, finding more sustainable methods of funding the maintenance of transport infrastructure, and a desire for better integration of transport modes are some of the challenges which transport authorities are addressing.

Arup’s horizon-scanning research and our technical understanding of the design, implementation and maintenance realities of dealing with road infrastructure and sustainability all inform our advisory work.

Arup also developed a governance structure for TII’s tolling business in the form of a portfolio management office. This ensures that all operations within TII are delivered consistently