Eleven bid for Alliance for Toll Interoperability hubs - impressive credentials among proposers
By Peter Samuel
Eleven companies or groups have bid to set up and operate a national hub for billing the tolls of out-of-area motorists based initially on license plate camera reads. In Phase One of the procurement by the Alliance for Toll Interoperability (ATI) three of the eleven will be selected to set up a hub each and demonstrate their billing of nightly batches of data for a three month period late September to late-December.
Proposals were received from:
- Cubic Corp
- Federal Signal
- Highway Toll Administration
- Secure Interagency Flow
ACS, ETCC, Federal Signal and TransCore are full-service toll systems providers.
BancPass is a very large bank card processor.
3M is the world's largest supplier of vehicle license plate designs and materials.
Cofiroute is a major French toller and contract operator which ran the 91 Express Lanes, the first American all-electronic tollroad, and toll lanes in Minneapolis.
Cubic Corp is a large transit fare collection equipment supplier and service provider maintaining transit accounts.
Highway Toll Administration and Rent-a-Toll have large businesses processing tolls on behalf of rental car companies.
Secure Interagency Flow is a company formed specifically to bid on the ATI hub project by two international toll systems and services companies Egis Projects and CS/InTranS. InTRansS is long established in the US. Major credentials for the partnership is their success in Ireland in implementing and servicing a national interoperability hub there. (UPDATE)
Bids were due by 5pm eastern time with North Carolina Turnpike staff conducting the procurement on behalf of some 40 ATI members from around the country.
Prez Eden delighted
ATI president Jim ('JJ') Eden told us tonight he was delighted: "It is a great response. It shows there's a lot of interest in participating in this project. I think it's off to an excellent start."
Eden said he'd expected about eight or nine contenders. A couple he'd expected might be there didn't propose, but about four who proposed were a surprise in making bids.
He hadn't looked at the proposals when he spoke, but he said there was impressive expertise and experience plus substantial resources in the groups represented in the list of proposers.
The pilot hubs will be set up and operated for three months entirely at the expense of the proposers in phase 1.
In this phase seven tollers will be sending license plate data to three chosen hub operators.
The seven participants are:
- E470 Denver Colorado
- Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
- Maryland Transportation Authority
- North Texas Tollway Authority, Dallas-Ft Worth area
- Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
- Transportation Corridors Agencies of Orange County California
- Washington State DOT
The data will be sent to more than one hub in this phase, so the ATI gets comparisons of the performance of the different hubs.
The schedule provides for selection of hub operators for Phase 1 by July 15, negotiations to follow with a notice to proceed by August 10.
September 19 the hubs are to begin operations, going for three months to December 19.
One or more of the three Phase 1 participants will be chosen by January 16, 2012 for the full-scale hub operation under contract to participating ATI members.
Membership of ATI is currently:
AAMVA - trade association of motor vehicle administrators
BATA - San Francisco Bay area bridges
CTRMA - Austin TX toller
Delaware DOT, toller
Delaware River Bridge Authority - four Philadelphia toll bridges
Dulles Greenway - private Virginia toller
E-470 - multi-county toll agency in Denver area
Florida Turnpike Enterprise
Golden Gate Bridge
Halifax Dartmouth Bridge Commission - the sole Canadian toller so far
ITS America - trade association
Kansas Turnpike Authority
Lee County DOT southwest Florida
Maine Turnpike Authority
Maryland Transportation Authority
Miami Dade Expressway Authority
MTA Bridges and Tunnels New York the nation's largest toller
New Jersey Turnpike Authority
New York State Bridge Authority - upper Hudson River toll bridge operator
New York State Thruway Authority
Niagara Falls Bridge Commission
North Carolina Turnpike Authority
North Texas Tollway Authority, Dallas TX
Northwest Parkway, Denver area CO
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority, central Florida
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority
South Jersey Transportation Authority, runs Atlantic City Expressway
State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta GA
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway, FL
Thousand Island Bridge Authority, toll bridge NY-Ontario
Transportation Corridor Agencies, Orange County CAWashington DOT
The chairman of ATI is David Machamer, chief of operations at the Oklahoma Turnpike.
Membership of ATI has a fee of $1,000/year.
The interoperability hub operation is important to the future of new tolling systems in the US since billing and collecting from out-of-area motorists is currently the weak point of open road (ORT) or all-electronic tolling (ORT.)
It is hoped the hubs will reduce the costs and increase the collection rates of these new modes of collecting tolls at full highway speed, and make it possible for motorists across north America to have a single transponder and a single account good across all toll facilities.
Processing of camera-based license plate reads will be the major interoperability activity of the hub or hubs in the early years, but the proposers are free to offer clearing transponder toll transactions as well. These are presently done at costs of 5c to 15c/transaction and the hubs could harness economies of scale to offer tollers a service clearing toller-to-toller transponder transactions at much less cost.
It is hoped to phase in standardized or interoperable transponder-reader systems in order to reduce reliance on cameras and drive down costs. The industry has committed to having complete national interoperability by 2016.
However the ATI hub could - if all goes well - make substantial national interoperability available by the end of 2012.
TOLLROADSnews 2011-05-23 UPDATE & GRAPHICS 2011-05-24 14:00