One of the global leaders in transportation management systems, Kapsch TrafficCom, has finally signed the contract to set up a nationwide tolling system in Bulgaria following nearly two years of delays to its implementation.
The contract was signed by Doncho Atanasov, chairman of the Bulgarian Roads Infrastructure Agency, and Michael Weber on behalf of the Kapsch Traffic Solutions consortium, and was witnessed by Nikolay Nankov, the Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, and André F Laux, chief operating officer of Kapsch TrafficCom.
The tender for the introduction of an electronic toll collection system in Bulgaria was first launched in April 2016, but was suspended and restarted several times due to complaints filed with the country’s competition authority. The government’s Road Infrastructure Agency selected the Austrian Kapsch Group to develop and introduce the electronic tolling system in October 2017. However, the procedure was blocked shortly after by complaints from two rival bidders for the contract.
Implementation of the project will begin immediately, with Kapsch being responsible for the setup, technical configuration, and technical support of the nationwide tolling system for trucks over 3.5 tonnes, as well as the introduction of an electronic vignette for passenger cars in Bulgaria. The e-tolling system will cover 10,140 miles (16,317km) of motorways and major roads in Bulgaria. Vehicles heavier than 3.5 tonnes will pay toll charges based on distance travelled, while charges for lighter vehicles will be set for certain periods of time.
The deployment project will run for 19 months and comprises the delivery and setup of 500 terminals for registering and issuing electronic vignettes, 100 enforcement vehicles, 100 weigh-in-motion (WIM) facilities, and 100 tolling gantries, as well as a central data center and a back-office system. Under the terms of the €76.7m (US$93.8m) contract, the infrastructure must be installed within seven months. According to a statement from the roads ministry, the Kapsch consortium will get paid from the road-toll revenue after the successful introduction of the system.
Bulgaria will be the sixth European country where Kapsch has been given responsibility for the implementation of a nationwide toll collection system, following the company’s successful completion of projects in Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Belarus, and the Czech Republic.