• Feb 25th 2011 at 11:49AM
  • 19
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will convert sections of Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 from high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to what it calls "ExpressLanes," which will allow drivers who fly solo if they're willing to pay a toll. To fight congestion, toll charges will vary based on the average speed of traffic.

Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., a Xerox Company, will install an electronic toll system that enables the ExpressLanes to communicate with transponders attached to registered vehicles. Drivers will be required to flip a switch on the transponder to toggle between when they are driving solo and subject to a toll; or carpooling free of charge. We assume they'll have a timer or data logger of some sort, so you can't just flip one on after the fuzz has pulled you over.

David Amoriell, group president of Transportation Solutions for ACS, states that the ExpressLanes project aims to "expand the capacity of the interstate without adding expensive new lanes." Infrastructure still needs to be built, though, and construction of the ExpressLanes is scheduled to commence by mid-summer, with completion set for late 2012. Who wants to ride in one?

[Source: Xerox]
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ACS, A Xerox Company, to Keep Los Angeles Drivers Moving with Electronic Toll Collection for New Express Lanes

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 (NYSE: XRX), will establish the program allowing toll rates to change based on traffic levels to help reduce highway congestion on the new 'ExpressLanes'.

"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"

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.

About Xerox

Xerox Corporation is a $22 billion leading global enterprise for business process and document management. Through its broad portfolio of technology and services, Xerox provides the essential back-office support that clears the way for clients to focus on what they do best: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox provides leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size. Through ACS, A Xerox Company, which Xerox acquired in February 2010, Xerox also offers extensive business process outsourcing and IT outsourcing services, including data processing, HR benefits management, finance support, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. The 136,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit http://www.xerox.com, http://news.xerox.com, http://www.realbusiness.com or http://www.acs-inc.com. For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      HOV is misuse of resources in my opinion. Many times, the HOV lane is empty or sparse, when the other two lanes are congested or much slower. I understand HOV has a good intention in trying to encourage carpool. But saving gas is by far the dominating reason for people to carpool. If two people find it convenient for them to go to work together, then they probably would carpool to save on gas. If it’s not convenient, like one person might not be reliable with time or they don’t want feel obligated to talk to the other person, then they probably wouldn’t carpool even if it means spending more on gas.

      But no two people who like to enjoy the morning commute alone would carpool because they get to use the HOV lane so they can get to work a little earlier. So exclusive use of the HOV lane is not going to push the decision to the other side, when gas saving is not incentive enough. So in reality, HOV doesn’t reduce the number of cars on the road, it just rearranges them, so a few cars get to go faster who would carpool anyway without HOV, but most cars are forced to go slower with a lower MPG. That’s worse for the environment.

        • 4 Years Ago
        You could not be more wrong. Carpool lanes incentivize carpooling because they can make the difference between a 1 hour commute and a 2 hour commute. I know people who regularly carpool with strangers so that they can get to work in a timely manner. Saving gas money is also a great reason to carpool, but in many cases the carpool lane is a vastly more convincing incentive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting idea, but the carpool lanes are already full so how is this going to help matters? I just don't see the benefit in a "lexus lane" for one that is already as slow as the rest.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Before they pull someone over, how will the fuzz know if the person has flipped the switch and is paying vs someone who is cheating?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This just turns it into a bonus lane for the wealthy. So we get to watch from traffic as all the Ferraris, Mercs, and BMWs tool past us.
        • 4 Years Ago
        To be honest, I'd be totally OK with Mercedes drivers paying tolls for each trip.

        Better then the Pious drivers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That sounds like a good idea to me.

        Not that I would be in that lane, but if you charged $20k a year to drive in that lane, the city would have a nice source of revenue.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish they'd do it on the 405.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The photo of the Volt must be a joke. Michigan plate with California yellow HOV sticker?

      Volt does not qualify for the California HOV sticker and it would get a ticket if driven in the HOV lane (with single occupant).

      Prius PHV is the only known plugin to qualify with single occupant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's photoshopped, of course. The "stickers" are too large, and placed in the wrong locations.
      • 4 Years Ago
      FYI, the photo notwithstanding, the 2011 Chevy Volt is NOT eligible for the yellow HOV stickers that provide access to the HOV lanes for certain hybrids until July 1, 2011. (This program, which continues with white stickers for electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles, admittedly has been an incentive that did not improve congestion!)

      Like it or not, the new "congestion pricing" program resembles what was successfully introduced in London and NY Mayor Bloomberg's plan that failed to gain legislative support in Albany.

      -- Felix Kramer, Founder, CalCars.org
      • 4 Years Ago
      "To fight congestion, toll charges will vary based on the average speed of traffic."

      So the more congestion there is, the lower the price so that people can go in to the HOV lane thereby reducing congestion?

      We wish.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The charges are based upon the average speed in the carpool lane.

        If the carpool lane is empty, the rates are low, if it is near full, they are expensive.

        We have this system in Northern California on the Sunol Grade on I-680 already.

        I'm not really a fan of toll roads. But I do find the market pricing aspect interesting.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is all complete BS. The 110 and 10 have had HOV lanes for years. In fact, they blocked off the HOV lane on the 10 in order to avoid all out riots when they start charging for the priviledge!

        Just a bunch of greedy politicians squeezing more money out of the public. If you can afford it you can arrive home earlier than the hoi polloi. It is just wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Haha, wrong.

        The slower regular traffic is, the *more* you pay.

        SoCal does this on the 91 all the time.

        Lexus lanes are all about getting people to pay more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The whole purpose of an HOV lane is to reduce congestion by incentivizing carpooling. Lowering the price when the highways were busiest would promote far more single-occupant cars on the road if people knew they could just pay a marginal fee to significantly speed up their commute.

        Get over your sense of entitlement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nope, probably exactly the opposite... The more congestion there is, the bigger the charge. The slower the regular lanes are, the more money solo drivers would be willing to pay to drive in the uncongested HOV lanes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        We've had such a system around here for a number of years. If traffic is flowing well, the tolls are minimal. If traffic is bogged down, you pay through the nose.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The toll road gets me from Riverside County to Irvine, CA and back in half the time. I'm not rich, but I love the convenience, the lack of congestion, and the well-maintained roads. It's a stress reliever.
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