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20 Table 4. Comparison of civil and criminal enforcement systems. Civil Enforcement Criminal Enforcement Fewer Less effective a Increased Higher administrative administrative costs deterrence, seriousness of costs Less evidence especially for the offense can Requires great required to render a repeat offenders lead to stronger coordination efforts violation decision Typically shorter deterrence and involves more Can better control statute of Typically longer individuals/ processing for limitations statute of processes over quicker resolution limitations which the agency may have no control. Trial location may be more flexible Source: Jacobs Engineering Group, 2010 typically outweighed privacy concerns. Nonetheless, some A report commissioned by the Washington State Depart- agencies offer anonymous ETC accounts for individuals who ment of Transportation (WSDOT) in 2007 examined the costs do not want to divulge personal information. Additionally, of toll-collection activities for seven toll systems. The intent of many state laws limit toll violation photos to license plates. this report was to develop a comparative cost estimate with Table 4 summarizes the main differences between civil and respect to toll-collection activities for toll systems that are sim- criminal enforcement systems. ilar to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (TNB), which was sched- uled to open later that year. The WSDOT report used annual financial reports as its primary data sources. In addition, each 2.2.8 Tolling Administrative Cost agency was contacted to collect information at a level that Estimation and Comparisons would be useful for comparison to the estimated operational In a report prepared for the U.S. Department of Transporta- costs for the TNB. In an effort to normalize cost data between tion, HDR estimated the differences in administrative costs for toll systems, the analysis performed in the WSDOT report various revenue-generation systems as alternatives to the fuel accounted for variations in traffic volumes, toll-collection tax (HDR, 2009). The report analyzed a video-based tolling methods, governance structure, violation rate, accounting prac- system, an automatic vehicle identification (AVI) based tolling tices, and bond covenants. The report attempted to exclude system, and a GPS-based tolling/VMT system. The study found capital and maintenance costs related to physical infrastruc- that the administrative costs of video- or AVI-based systems ture. The analysis found that toll-collection costs as a percent were significantly higher than the costs of collecting the fuel of revenues ranged from 14% to 20% (Figure 8). Moreover, tax. At the national level, the GPS-based system had the lowest the cost per transaction ranged from $0.23 to $0.56 (WSDOT, costs among the technologies employed, but it was still much 2007). The study found that collection costs did not vary sig- higher in cost than the fuel tax system if the hardware was nificantly between toll systems with high rates of ETC use included as part of the cost. versus lower rates. However, the analysis did not attempt to differentiate between administrative, collection, and enforce- ment costs. Comparative Analysis of Tolling Systems Another report commissioned by the U.S. DOT attempted in the United States to compare the costs of fuel taxes, VMT, and tolling systems. Although a wide body of literature has been published on With respect to tolling, that analysis developed a financial tolling-system activities, only a few reports compare the costs of toll collection among toll systems. Most toll agencies are extremely cautious in releasing their financial data because this could have an impact on their cost of capital for upcoming bond issues, their bond covenant requirements, and inter- governmental agreements among toll agencies. Toll sys- tems financed with private capital have additional concerns relating to stock prices (if publicly traded). Because of the increased shift toward the implementation of ETC systems and other broad shifts within the tolling industry, this section Source: Washington State Department of Transportation, 2007 focuses on reports that have compared tolling systems within Figure 8. Toll-collection costs as percentage the last 3 to 5 years. of revenues.