New electronic toll collection to keep LA drivers moving

Drivers on two of the busiest highways in Los Angeles County could cut their travel times under a new electronic toll system allowing single passenger vehicles to shift into the HOV lanes. Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS), a Xerox company, will establish the program allowing toll rates to change based on traffic levels to help reduce highway congestion on the new “ExpressLanes.”

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will convert portions of Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 from “car pool” or high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to ExpressLanes or high occupancy toll lanes, allowing people driving alone to travel in existing car pool lanes for a toll. To help manage traffic volumes, tolls for single passenger vehicles will vary based on the average speed of traffic traveling in the ExpressLanes. General purpose lanes will remain free for all vehicles.

“ACS’ expertise in applying intelligent transportation practices will allow drivers on I-10 and I-110 in Los Angeles County to make better use of the highway without having to stop and pay a toll,” said David Amoriell, group president of Transportation Solutions for ACS. “Essentially this project will expand the capacity of the interstate without adding expensive new lanes.”

Vehicles travelling in the new ExpressLanes must have a FasTrak toll account and a small transponder. Drivers will set a switch on their transponder so the toll system knows if they are driving alone and be charged; or part of a car pool and drive for free in the ExpressLanes. Sensors on the interstate will calculate any tolls and automatically deduct the proper amount from the driver’s prepaid account. The ExpressLanes will be designed to keep traffic moving at a minimum 45 mph speed.

Off the road, ACS will manage the Customer Service Center, and Xerox will provide additional expertise and efficiency for Metro in the printing and mailing of statements and notices.

Construction of the ExpressLanes Project is scheduled to begin by the middle of this year with the lanes scheduled to open to traffic in late 2012. ACS is on the project team led by Atkinson Construction and includes AECOM and Steiny & Company.

ACS is the largest provider of transportation technology services worldwide, including parking, tolling, mass transit and photo enforcement services supporting governments in 30 countries.  ACS currently manages 1.4 billion toll transactions annually and 10 million transponder accounts.