[beta] TRN Weekly Review: Week of June 9-15, 2019

Massive Bay Area Transportation Improvement Project Is on the Drawing Board

The Mercury News reported, “Bigger than anything the Bay Area has seen before, a nine-county-wide plan to raise $100 billion in taxes over several decades to redefine the region’s transportation network could be ready for public input in the next several months. . . . The plan now even has a name: Faster Bay Area.” Details are still scarce, the newspaper noted, but the plan would likely involve seamlessly connecting various transit systems and perhaps building “a vast network of toll lanes” around the region.

Maryland Announced Plan for Pursuing Express Lanes P3 Contractor

The Washington Post reported, the Maryland Department of Transportation announced Thursday that the state will pursue a P3 agreement to build express lanes on the southern segment of I-270 before launching a similar project north of I-370. Even though many local officials reportedly believe congestion is worse in the northern part of the corridor around Frederick, an MDOT spokesperson said financial considerations warrant prioritizing work on the lower segment of the highway. The article added, “MDOT officials will spend the next few months ‘repackaging’ a ‘request for qualifications. . . .’

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WSDOT Scheduled Another I-405 Express Lanes Extension Project

The Herald reported, “Construction to widen I-405 between highways 522 and 527, which will add another express toll lane in each direction, will now start by 2021, according to Craig Smiley, a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation.” The article noted that WSDOT was able to put the project on a firm schedule because lawmakers approved the bonding of I-405 toll revenue during the 2019 regular session. The project’s expected completion in 2024 will reportedly coincide with the opening of a new I-405 Renton-to-Bellevue express lane and the launch of an I-405 Bus Rapid Transit route.

Transurban Started Construction of Reversible 95 Express Lanes Extension

The Washington Post reported, “Construction kicked off last week along a 10-mile stretch of I-95 in Northern Virginia, where Transurban is extending the reversible 95 Express Lanes from Route 610 to Route 17 near Fredericksburg. The $565-million project will deliver another milestone in the state’s vision to create a network of more than 90 miles of HOT lanes in Northern Virginia by 2022. The project is one of several projects in a $1 billion deal the state announced earlier this year.”

Conduent Management Shake-Up Continued

“ITS International” reported that Mick Slattery resigned earlier this month as CEO of Conduent Transportation, citing “personal reasons.”

Conduent Incorporated recently announced the appointment of Cliff Skelton as president and chief operating officer. A company news release says Skelton — who previously led Fiserv Output Solutions — “brings expertise in operational management, technology integration and strategic leadership. In this role, he will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations across Conduent’s business units. . . .”

FDOT Announced Plans to Resume Imposition of SunPass Penalties

Florida Politics reported, Florida DOT “has broken its silence on penalties for drivers who have not yet paid down backlogged SunPass bills, announcing it will reinstitute late fees on delinquent customers’ next billing cycle, likely at the end of June. Drivers, who may have been surprised by seven months of toll bills all at once this spring, were told they would have until June 1 to pay off their accounts.” FDOT imposed its months-long waiver of SunPass and TOLL-BY-PLATE fees and penalties because of errors and complaints resulting from last summer’s SunPass customer service system conversion by Conduent.

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Fitch Found Eight Managed Lane Projects Exceed Expectations

Fitch Ratings said in its latest peer review for US managed lane projects, “Performance is exceeding projections for eight managed lanes that are currently up and running.” A Fitch news release noted, “Strong performance led to Fitch upgrading two SR-91 express lane projects in Southern California, owned by Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC). ‘The opening of the RCTC SR-91 project in 2017 was very successful in its own right and also led to lasting revenue gains for the connecting OCTA project,’ said Director Scott Monroe.”

Michigan House Budget Would Require Toll Feasibility Study

Detroit Free Press reported, Michigan State Representative Ann Bollin (R-Brighton) Thursday offered an amendment to the state transportation budget that would direct the Michigan Department of Transportation to conduct a tolling feasibility study. Bollin told the newspaper, “I’ve heard for a very long time from constituents back in the district when I was working at the local level — people asked, ‘why don’t we have toll roads in Michigan?’ It might be a future opportunity for us, but I do think we need the deep dive into it.”

FDOT Scheduled Start of First Coast Expressway Toll Collection

WJCT reported, “The state plans to start collecting tolls on the initial segment of the First Coast Expressway next month. When it’s complete, the 46-mile expressway will connect I-10 in Duval County with I-95 in St. Johns County. Sara Pleasants with the Florida Department of Transportation said, starting in mid-July, five electronic gantries” will be in operation between Jacksonville’s New World Avenue and Blanding Boulevard.

WSDOT Pushed Back Launch of SR 99 Tunnel Toll Collection

The Seattle Times reported, Washington State DOT announced that it is postponing the start date of SR 99 tunnel toll collection from summer to fall. A specific launch date has not been determined, according to a WSDOT spokesperson. She added that the factors contributing to postponement include incomplete demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the delay in ETAN’s launch of a new back office system for WSDOT toll collection.

These are a handful of the issues we reported on last week. Sample Daily News Briefs, our weekday morning news alert. A 14-day trial is free.

Talk of More Highway Tolls and Congestion Pricing in Boston

Curbed Boston reported, a recent commuter train derailment has underscored the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s need for a major infusion of funding. According to the article, possible sources of new revenue include I-93 and I-95 tolls and a Boston congestion pricing program.

E-470 Authority Acquired Rekor’s New ALPR Solution

Rekor Systems, Inc., announced Wednesday that the E-470 Public Highway Authority selected it to provide “vehicle recognition solutions for electronic tolling. Rekor’s NUMERUS™ cloud-based solution,” which the company launched at the end of last month, “will provide license plate reading capabilities at toll stations along E-470 Colorado,” according to a news release.

LA Metro Selected GeoToll to Create Mobile Payments Proof of Concept

LA Metro announced that it has awarded GeoToll, the mobile payments solution provider, a competitively bid contract for its Mobile Tolling Proof of Concept Project. LA Metro currently has an industry-standard, transponder-based tolling system. The proof of concept will evaluate whether a location-aware smartphone application can reliably provide another method for collecting Los Angles express lane tolls.

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