February 15, 2012
Cofiroute USA: Setting New Standards in Toll Road Operations
and Service through Experience, Technology, Talent
Cofiroute USA is an industry pioneer in managing and operating sophisticated toll collection systems, roadway operations, customer relationship management and integrated technology solutions for toll facilities and managed lanes in the United States.
Clients choose Cofiroute USA for its breadth of experience and innovative approach to toll road design and operation. It helps its clients -- toll road facility owners and transportation agencies -- mitigate the many challenges faced in toll road operations. The company has saved toll road owners’ time, money and the unnecessary stress often associated with the day-to-day operations management by pursuing solid public policy solutions and building long-term, successful public-private partnerships.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Cofiroute USA provides a wide range of services to its public and private sector clients. Its services include providing total management of all operations: call center staffing, account management, website management, inventory management, support for enforcement and marketing and integrated revenue and account management systems (RAMS) for customer relationship management, system-wide monitoring, analysis and maintenance.
It has been responsible for several high-technology projects and important innovations in the toll road industry:
- First private toll road in the United States in 50 years
- First toll road in the world with fully automated toll collection
- First American toll road with congestion pricing
- First conversion of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes under a public-private partnership (P3)
- First adjustable tolls, varying in real time based on traffic volumes.
Cofiroute USA Leadership and Experience
Cofiroute USA, under the direction of Gary Hausdorfer, president and chief executive officer, and its parent company, Cofiroute SA, Paris, France, have nearly 60 years of combined experience and successful management of projects totaling more than $2 billion. The senior management team has vast leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, including one former California mayor and the former CEO of Orange County.
As a result, clients trust the management teams’ ability to be an effective, strategic partner in minimizing client risk and providing enlightened, innovative approaches to meet the ever-changing needs of toll road operations. The Cofiroute USA team also understands the complete transparency and accountability that must be maintained for every project.
The Cofiroute USA management team is active in national trade organizations. It helps educate the public and lawmakers about the benefits of private toll road management. This includes sharing recent data, positive customer testimonials and success stories on how the latest toll road management technology and operational systems improve safety, maintenance standards and quality of life for daily commuters.
Launching New Standards in Toll Road Management Systems
Cofiroute USA revolutionized the automation of toll roads in the United States with the 91 Express Lanes in Orange County, Calif. It recently took toll road technology to a new level of sophistication with the development and installation of a fully integrated back office system for the 91 Express Lanes that manages every operating, reporting and customer service detail. The new system was installed as part of a five-year, $38.5-million contract awarded last year to Cofiroute USA by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for operating the 91 Express Lanes.
The new system, jointly developed with Cofiroute USA’s technology partner, TollPlus, automates many functions and creates efficiencies that will permit OCTA to better track toll revenues and control operating costs over the long term. In addition, the new 91 Express Lanes system from Cofiroute USA interfaces with other toll road systems, including the Transportation Corridor Agencies and its toll roads, 261, 241 and 73 in Orange County along with other agencies in the State of California.
With the new system, customers enjoy more user-friendly web access to their account and also benefit from a system that integrates customer service with payment and violation tracking. The streamlined processes will also save OCTA time and money in its daily operation. Cofiroute USA is currently consulting with other toll road agencies on migrating from outdated legacy systems to new advanced technology and integrated systems that will improve business performance. Cofiroute USA continues leading new standards and was recently engaged by the Alliance for Toll Interoperability (ATI), a membership organization representing over 40 North American toll authorities exploring the development of potential interoperability networks, to participate in a pilot program as a HUB Operator. The program aims to develop and manage the exchange of account holder license plate information and account holder identification so drivers can use any toll road and receive automated billing from a single source.
The 91 Express Lanes: the Model of Success for All-Electronic Toll Facilities
The 91 Express Lanes project is a model of success in the national and international toll road industry. The 91 Express Lanes carried its first vehicle in December 1995 as the world’s first all-electronic, free-flowing toll facility, and it has logged more than 100 million vehicle trips since 2003, saving customers over 50 million hours of commuting time and over 50 million gallons of gas (At an average cost of $3.84 per gallon, drivers have saved up to $192 million). Also, more drivers along the SR-91 corridor enjoyed an easier drive with a new eastbound lane on the SR-91 between State Route 241 and State Route 71. This improvement was partially funded by the 91 Express Lanes and benefited all motorists along the corridor. Most importantly, the 91 Express Lanes remained fiscally strong in a challenging economy, continuing to be an example of financial stability for toll facilities around the world. Economic models have translated the time savings into measurable benefits, showing added economic productivity and quality-of-life benefits for commuters, their families and businesses.
With the FastTrak system, drivers pay tolls from pre-paid accounts. The system records usage by collecting data from a FasTrak transponder — a pocket-sized radio transmission device mounted to the inside of each vehicle's windshield. This breakthrough electronic toll collection technology eliminated the need to stop and pay tolls at traditional tollbooths, thus ensuring the free flow of traffic.
Today, the 91 Express Lanes serve more than a half million FasTrak™ transponder customers, generating over $40 million in annual revenues for the OCTA.
Transforming HOV to HOT: the Minneapolis Success Story
Cofiroute USA joined a consortium, consisting of Wilbur Smith Associates, Raytheon, SRF Consulting and Frank Wilson & Associates to convert the I-394 HOV Lane in Minneapolis to a HOT lane. The facility, named MnPASS, opened in 2005 and was the first conversion of existing HOV lanes to HOT lanes in the U.S. In 2009, Cofiroute USA and its partners successfully expanded the MnPASS network along the I-35W Corridor south of Minneapolis. Under contract to Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT), the Team developed and installed the expansion in less than 12 months.
Industry experts have praised the MnPASS project for its success in traffic management, increasing throughput and reducing accidents and violation rates. Since its opening, MnPASS has received nine regional and international awards for its innovations in technology and operations.
In addition to its toll road operations contracts, Cofiroute USA is currently providing consulting services to public agencies planning on operating new toll roads and converting high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to managed toll lanes in several regions, including Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and California. Cofiroute USA combines a long-term private developer’s experience with new approaches to project delivery, financing and the latest toll technology to provide strategic and innovative consulting services on public-private partnerships, toll road systems and managed toll lane projects.
Exceeding Customer Expectations
In addition to advanced systems and technology, Cofiroute USA’s success stems from its strong corporate values, including collegiality, dedication to outstanding customer service and-- perhaps most importantly-- a warm and personal approach to service that distinguishes the company from much larger competitors. This culture has enabled Cofiroute USA to attract exceptional talent while building long-term customer relationships.
Part of the $48.3 billion VINCI Group
Cofiroute USA is backed by the global resources and experience of its parent company, Cofiroute S.A. Founded in 1970, Cofiroute S.A. has financed, developed and operates some of the world's most sophisticated toll roads, bridges and tunnels.
It currently operates over 740 miles of freeway, 55 toll plazas, 700 toll lanes, and record about 120 million payment transactions a year. Both Cofiroute S.A and Cofiroute USA are a part of the VINCI Group, based in Paris, France, which had annual revenues of $48.3 billion (€ 36.9 billion) in 2011, with 180,000 employees in more than 100 countries.
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