California’s Orange County Transportation Authority(OCTA) has selected Kapsch TrafficCom USA to design, install, operate and maintain the electronic tolling and traffic management systems for the 405 Express Lanes and 91 Express Lanes in Orange County.
The US division of the Austrian transportation technology giant was selected from four bidding and two short-listed companies interviewed to provide toll lanes system integrator services for the two separate express lanes facilities.
Kapsch, which has worldwide tolling experience, won the contract for US$42.3m, which was a savings of more than US$10m compared to the other qualified bidder. The contract includes design, development, testing and installation of a complete electronic toll and traffic management system for both toll facilities, which will include state-of-the-art laser-based vehicle detection and classification (LVDC) systems, RFID transponder antennas, and cameras to monitor and enforce tolls in the express lanes. Kapsch’s contract for services on the 91 and 405 express lanes is for an initial term of 10 years.
The 91 Express Lanes have been in operation for 22 years. In 2003, OCTA purchased the facility, consisting of two tolled lanes for 10 miles (16km) in each direction at the median of State Route 91, between SR-55 and the border with Riverside County.
Sirit Corporation (later 3M Company), originally installed and ran the 91 Express Lanes system, but in 2016 the company notified OCTA that it no longer intended to provide the service.
OCTA contracted with Cofiroute USA to operate the lanes in the interim. In 2017, another 8 miles (12.8km) was added, extending the 91 Express Lanes to I-15 in Riverside County. Since taking over operations, the 91 Express Lanes has become an international model for effective congestion management pricing.
Construction of the I-405 Improvement Project, including the 405 Express Lanes, began in January this year and is expected to open in 2023. The 405 Express Lanes will consist of two lanes in each direction at the center of I-405, between Costa Mesa and the border with Los Angeles County.
Estimates indicate that when the improvement project is finished, drivers that choose to travel in the 405 Express Lanes will be able to drive that 16 mile-long (25.7km) stretch of I-405 in about 15 minutes, compared to about 30 minutes in regular lanes.
Kapsch will begin replacing the existing tolling equipment on the 91 Express Lanes, and will work with the design-builder of the 405 Improvement Project to plan the installation of tolling equipment for the 405 Express Lanes, once the final contracts are signed.