The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens vegvesen NPRA) has awarded a contract for the replacement of all AutoPass roadside tolling equipment in Oslo. The contract has an estimated value of NKr50m (US$6.6m) and has been given to the Trondheim-based company, Q-Free. The project’s delivery comprises: dismantling of the existing roadside equipment; installation of new roadside equipment; and service and maintenance of the system after the completion of the installation. The contract also includes options for increased delivery of equipment and extension of the service and maintenance period. The installation work on the project will start immediately and will be completed by the end of 2015. According to NPRA purchase regulations, there is a period for filing complaints that ends on February 28, with work effectively starting after that date. Operated by the concessionaire, Fjellinjen, Oslo has a tolled ring road that effectively operates as a congestion charge scheme.
Q-Free has a long history of tolling and congestion charging projects in its native country, and has delivered equipment and services for all aspects of road tolling in Norway, including On-Board Units (OBUs), roadside equipment and the nationwide central back-office collection system. In 2013, the central system processed 475 million transactions (1.3 million per day) and handled a total revenue of NKr6.7bn (US$892m). The current central system is a nationwide system that all new tolling concessions must use, requiring a versatile architecture that can accommodate concessions of all sizes, from those with very low traffic, up to large city systems with millions of transactions annually. The company has delivered over 30 tolling projects in Norway, consisting of about 150 lanes, with about 100 lanes currently in operation. Announcing the award of the new Oslo contract, Q-Free’s CEO, Thomas Falck, said, “This is a very important win for us, and it demonstrates that we are competitive in our home market.”