The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in the US has selected HNTB, an architecture, civil engineering consulting and construction management firm, to convert a turnpike system to a cashless, all-electronic tolling (AET) system in the state.

The AET collection system is expected to offer both drivers and the agency increased safety, a cleaner environment, improved customer convenience and operational efficiencies.

HNTB will help the commission in studying workforce consulting, outreach and engagement, financial analysis, and public and legislative outreach.

The two parties will also study traffic-and-revenue studies, engineering analysis and design, environmental studies, development of video-tolling collection methods and systems, fare-collection business rules, and customer-service centre plans and requirements.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission chief executive officer Roger E Nutt said that because of these and other benefits, AET has emerged as much more than a trend in the tolling industry worldwide and a number of American tolling agencies have gone cashless in recent years.

"But certainly, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is the largest toll system in the US to begin to implement such a system," Nutt added.

The turnpike operates as a ticket system toll road, which issues a paper ticket to drivers on entry and collects payment on exit, as well as calculates the fare depending upon the distance travelled.

The system also uses the E-ZPass system as an alternative payment option, according to Traffic Technology Today.

The full conversion to AET is expected to take five years.