North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) continues to set the pace in North Texas by choosing Daktronics (Nasdaq-DAKT) of Brookings, SD. to supply Galaxy® displays along the entire NTTA system.
In order to choose a company to supply displays for the toll plazas, the NTTA issued a Request for Proposal, and three vendors were chosen to participate in a pilot study. The vendors supplied a display for each of the four designated locations.
The displays were in side-by-side applications and tested for six months at a main lane plaza and ramp plazas. The NTTA evaluated the cost, display weight and image clarity/visibility in addition to energy usage, ease of maintenance and responsiveness of the contractor/vendor.
After the six month pilot study, the NTTA chose Daktronics to supply displays for the toll facilities.
“The LED displays provide greater sign visibility, offer unlimited lane use flexibility and can be controlled from a remote location,” said Eric Starnater, PE, Vice President of Lamb Star Engineering, LP, the contractor for NTTA.
Features that were of interest to the NTTA included full color capability, high resolution, legibility, message flexibility and ease in creating new messages. The Daktronics displays offer all of these features, making it the company of choice.
“The visibility of the displays and ease of changing between lane-use icons has been the best part,” said Starnater.
“These features will help (NTTA) to better serve its customers with effective and efficient toll plaza designs,” said Tom Becker, Daktronics ITS Market Manager.
The long-term agreement between the NTTA and Daktronics is to supply and install displays on all toll plaza lanes across the complete NTTA system. Two types of displays are involved in the project for the NTTA, main line toll plaza and ramp toll plaza displays.
The first 14 full-color Galaxy displays installed for the NTTA were at Segment IV of the President George Bush Turnpike. Currently, the NTTA has 55 Daktronics displays installed with an additional 64 to be installed in 2007.
The displays are used to show the correct icon,enabling motorists to identify the current status of a lane. Various icon messages include tolltag, attended, exact change, change made and an interoperability logo. The NTTA supplied Daktronics with the needed graphics that were then formatted and stored in each controller’s memory so the displays can be easily changed when needed.
“The expectation of maintenance operations is that the new ‘closed’ icon has offered improved visibility and enhanced safety,” said Starnater.
Starnater also stated that many of the NTTA’s customers and employees have commented that the LED displays are easier to see and offer more information than before. Other comments indicate that the displays have helped reduce lane violations and that it is easier to control lane operations.