Bestpass is not only celebrating its 20th year of business but also the achievement of surpassing 20,000 customers. Over the past year, the leading provider of toll management solutions has achieved 100% customer growth and boasts more than $1 billion in annual toll transactions.
However, in an interview with CEO Tom Fogarty, who joined Bestpass in 2020, and longtime President John Andrews, it’s clear that the Bestpass team isn’t resting on its laurels, but actively working toward nationwide tolling coverage or interoperability.
“Every good company that’s going to be great or every great company that wants to stay great must be thinking two and three years ahead while also dealing with demands of the day and putting in processes designed for scalability, reliability and innovation,” said Fogarty.
As the Bestpass team strives toward interoperability for fleets, one costly and persistent obstacle is tolling by plate. According to Andrews, plate tolling costs fleets and toll operators time and money. When a toll reader is unable to accurately read a license plate as it passes through a toll, the task then goes to a toll authority employee to decipher. But often license plates aren’t automatically linked to the vehicle’s owner or an address, so the toll authority must sift through out-of-state DMV records, which can cost from $3.50 to $10 per vehicle.
“To solve the problem for both trucks and the toll operator, Bestpass is registering the license plates to make them readable across the country,” said Andrews. “That removes costs for the tolling authority and allows trucking companies to get billed when their device doesn’t read properly. It actually costs the tolling authorities more to clear that total transaction for a toll by plate than with the transponder.”
By registering the plate and the responsible party, as well as securing financials, Bestpass is streamlining the workflow for both the carriers and tolling authorities. Historically, trucking companies would manage tolls in-house. It was typical to see five to seven transponders in a truck’s window, forcing a full-time employee to manage the various accounts in an effort to save money.
“My favorite saying is no trucking company wants to spend more on an expense,” said Andrews. “That’s what tolling is. When they have to put management costs on top of an expense, there’s no value in that. What Bestpass did out of the gate was take all of those transponders and accounts and put it into one account, one phone call and one device.”
The roots of Bestpass’ success are in its ability to solve what tolling authorities are not solving for vehicles. As for its future, however, Fogarty hopes to help more small to midsize fleets punch above their weight in getting additional discounts. Besides traditional tolling, Bestpass continues to expand its portfolio of business solutions.
“Red light and parking citations are very much a toll on a vehicle in various municipalities,” said Andrews. “There are other services that are very much like tolling (parking, ferrying, road usage and congestion) that we can apply that same concept of aggregation, simplified management and single point of payment on a vehicle.”
Fogarty added, “We want to make it very easy for our customers to reconcile charges and get credits where they’ve received duplicate charges. We’re going to be prepared to support our customers and remain ahead of the curve.”