1.0 transportation systems have led to a lifestyle

1.0       Background to the Study

            Transportation is the backbone of any country’s
economy.  Advancement in

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transportation systems have led to a lifestyle characterized by extraordinary freedom of movement, immense trade in manufactured goods and services, high employment levels and social mobility.  In fact,
the economic wealth of a nation has been closely tied to
efficient methods of transportation.

            Due to increasing number of vehicles on the road, problems such as congestion,
incident, air pollution and many others
have become a major factor of concern. Evidently, nearly all-economic activities at some point use different means
of

transportation to operate.  For that reason, enhancing transportation will have an immediate impact on productivity and the economy.

            Reducing the costs of transporting natural resources
to production sites
and
moving finished goods to markets is
one of the key factors in economic competition. This task requires that the linkage between any two states or any two places is such as to
reduce travel time, reduce congestion, increase efficiency, and increase safety. By increasing system efficiency and using modern technology, the capacity of the current limited resources
can
be optimized.  Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) systems
aimed at increasing traffic flow by reducing toll transaction time.  

 

            ETC benefits
can be broadly divided into three categories: toll agency benefits, user benefits, and social benefits.
 The toll agency benefits include reduction in operating cost,
reduction in man labor, reduction in maintenance cost, and enhanced cash handling.
The user benefits include time saving due to the elimination of the hassle of digging for change and the elimination of acceleration and deceleration as
the vehicles
do
not stop for toll transaction.  

            In addition, there is time saving due to the reduced toll transaction time and average waiting time.
 Moreover, considerable fuel is saved
due
to elimination of acceleration.  The social benefits include the reduction in mobile pollutions
that impact
the nearby areas
where ETC is deployed.  This research considers the user and the social benefits
as they represent the biggest advantages for ETC implementation. The model will serve as a decision making tool to determine the effect of ETC lanes over the manual lanes.
 

           Results from the model will help the toll agencies to make decisions for ETC
deployment over the manual toll to check its time and financial feasibility before the
implementation of ETC.
 It will help to estimate the financial value of the benefits that
will be produced from the ETC project.
 Furthermore,
this
research will impact the toll agencies on deciding upon the strategies related to congestion reduction and rerouting of
vehicles.

1.1
      Statement of the Problem

It is evident that toll plazas are usually the tailbacks
for highway traffic flows. For this congestion problem, one alternative will be
to build additional lanes. However, this option requires a huge investment.
According to Al-Deek (Mohamed et al. 1997), with the use of Electronic Toll
Collection (ETC), the throughput of the system can be increased three times.
For that reason, ETC systems might represent a more feasible alternative than
building additional toll lanes.

Under
such circumstances, the present study has been undertaken to find out the economic
benefit of introducing electronic toll collection system.

Due
to the limited scope of the study, one particular location has been chosen for
the purpose of the study with the following objectives.

1.2
      Research Objectives

The
objectives of the research are as follows:

1. To study the existing Toll Collection System in
Kumasi.

            2.  To model these benefits
of
ETC over the manual toll collection system.

3. To find out the
economic benefits of improving on the existing Toll Collection System.

1.4       Organization of The Study

The study is made up of five
chapters. The first chapter deals with the Study Background, Problem Statement,
Study Objectives, Research Questions, Methodology, Scope and Limitation as well
as Chapter organization.  Chapter two
provides an overview of existing literature. Chapter three delves into the
Methodology that has been used. It further describes the data that form the
basis for the research and provides an overview of the methods or the
methodology used in the study.

 Chapter four is designated to data analysis,
findings and discussions. The final chapter deals with a summary of the study, conclusions drawn from the findings and
recommendations as well as suggestion for further studies.

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