One of the leaders in the development of next-generation open road tolling and traffic management systems has recently completed the installation of 37.8 miles (60.8km) of all-electronic toll system equipment along the Houston area’s Grand Parkway.
The Fort Bend Grand Parkway Toll Road Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) selected TransCore to serve as lead integrator for their comprehensive toll collection systems, with the company designing, implementing and maintaining the toll collection system for all segments of the Grand Parkway, as well as two segments along the Fort Bend Tollway and the Westpark Tollway. Officially State Highway 99, the 188-mile (302km) Grand Parkway comprises 11 segments and will ultimately traverse seven counties. With six of the 11 segments now completed, the Grand Parkway has already exceeded all traffic and revenue forecasts, nearly doubling the number of transactions handled in February 2015.
When the entire project is completed, all toll locations will be equipped with TransCore’s modular blade-based Infinity Digital Lane System, which consists of Encompass 6 readers that enable toll interoperability within the region; the Intelligent Vehicle Identification System (IVIS) to accurately classify vehicles; and the Vehicle Capture and Recognition System (VCARS) to capture video images.
The modular design of the Infinity Digital Lane System combines the very best components for each of the individual sub-systems, all of which are then integrated into one complete operating unit. The blades are easily installed, changed, or removed, significantly reducing maintenance and repair times. Each blade has its own power supply, central processing unit (CPU), data storage, and front panel diagnostics and maintenance ports.
There are two primary types of blades; the first is used for lane servers, VCARS controllers, and AVI controllers; and the second type is used for IVIS controllers, vehicle profilers, and ORT zone controllers, making inventory management less expensive and more efficient. Modules communicate with each other through TCP/IP, and not hard-wired through outdated serial type connections.
TransCore has partnered with transportation agencies throughout Texas for over 30 years, beginning with the design and deployment of the USA’s first electronic toll collection system for the North Texas Tollway Authority in Dallas. Since then, the company has deployed its toll collection system in hundreds of lanes throughout the state, including the nation’s largest high occupancy tolling (HOT) lane system for the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, and the Harris County Toll Road Authority’s entire network. In 2012, TxDOT selected TransCore as the statewide integrator for all new toll collection lanes deployed throughout the state.
“With nearly 300 of our employees living and working in Houston and throughout Texas, we all share the vision for safer, more convenient mobility options,” said Whitt Hall, senior vice president of tolling at TransCore. “We take great pride in the trust that transportation agencies throughout the state of Texas have placed in us, and we remain committed to providing the most advanced solutions and highest level of customer service on every project.”