Daily News Briefs, July 19, 2017

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RiverLink Dramatically Improves Ohio River Bridges Call Center Service

News and Tribune reports, “RiverLink cut down on call times and saw an increase in crossings on tolled bridges from April to June of this year — all good news for the tolling system’s second quarter in operation.” The report adds, “The [customer service] improvements were primarily the result of RiverLink hiring more customer service representatives, said Mindy Peterson, a spokesperson for RiverLink,” which opened with 15 service representatives and now has 75. Peterson tells the newspaper, “Hindsight is 20/20. We based our staffing at the start on kind of the launch of other tolling systems and advice that we were getting from consultants.”

Customer Service Experience Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges


PA Turnpike Commissioners Approve Six Percent Toll Rate Increase for 2018

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, “Motorists will pay 6 percent more next year when they drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Turnpike Commission decided Tuesday. The increase for E-ZPass and cash customers will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 7 as part of yearly toll hikes expected to continue until 2044.” The report adds, “The hike is needed to meet the commission’s funding obligations for updating its 550 miles of toll roads and for supporting statewide public transportation, the commission said in a news release.” [Link inserted.] In April, toll increases will be phased in at two interchanges that are scheduled to convert to cashless tolling.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, “[T]he hike will likely drive more users away, making it tougher to meet future revenue targets, warns municipal bond analyst Eric Kazatsky of Bloomberg Market Intelligence.”

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) Toll Rate Changes


Kapsch Is Chosen to Supply 6C Tags to the E-470 Highway Authority through 2021

Kapsch TrafficCom announced that it has been selected by the E-470 Public Highway Authority to supply 18000 ISO 6C toll tags for use by E-470’s ExpressToll account holders. “These Kapsch tags will accommodate the existing All-Electronic Toll (AET) collection system in place on E-470’s 47 miles of roadway, as well as all other toll facilities in the state of Colorado,” Kapsch noted. The company expects to deliver approximately 2.6 million tags (both windshield and headlamp sticker tags) through 2021 under its agreement with E-470.

Colorado E-470 Public Highway Authority Kapsch


VDOT Secretary Layne Defends Delay of I-66 Rush-Hour Tolling and $2 Million Cost of Additional Testing

WTOP reports, “Virginia’s transportation secretary is defending the delay of rush-hour tolling on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway for further tests, after WTOP reported on the $2 million cost of pushing back the start of tolls into December. Aubrey Layne told the Commonwealth Transportation Board that the additional testing is important for the first Virginia Department of Transportation-operated variable price toll systems on I-66 inside the Beltway and on a stretch of highway in the Hampton Roads area.”

Intelligent Transportation Systems Virginia Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Washington (DC) Metro Region


VA Transportation Board Set to Approve Testing of Self-Driving Cars on I-95 and I-495 Express Lanes

Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, “Virginia’s transportation board is expected to vote [today] to clear the way for testing of self-driving cars on interstates 95 and 495 express lanes.” The board reviewed the proposal at a workshop session yesterday. The report adds, “The express lanes . . . are an ideal proving ground because of the technology they employ to track traffic flow. ‘These are some of the smartest roads in the country,’ [VDOT Secretary Aubrey] Layne said. ‘The technology exists in the road to help communicate with the car.’”

I-95/I-495 Express Lanes (Metro Washington, DC) Self-Driving Vehicles Virginia Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)


OC Register Editors "Implore" TCA and Communities to Cooperate on Finding a 241 Toll Road Extension Route

The Orange County Register editorial board observes, “It seems like almost everyone agrees on the need for another route in and out of south Orange County, so long as that route doesn’t come anywhere near them. So continues the saga of the 241 Toll Road extension to the I-5.” The editors “implore the opposing groups to come together and find a solution. The TCA and environmental groups have already shown it to be possible.”

California Transportation Corridor Agencies (CA)