2008-05-08 / News

EZPass contract awarded for Newport-Pell Bridge

By Sam Bari

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced that Caseta Technologies, Inc. was awarded the contract for installation of the EZPass toll collection system on the Newport-Pell Bridge. RITBA Chairman David Darlington made the announcement May 1 at the annual RITBA meeting.

"We are excited to be working with Caseta Technologies, a leader in the electronic toll collecting industry," Darlington said. "With their experience and expertise, we feel the Authority's move to 21st century technology is in very capable hands."

Caseta's $1.8 million bid was the lowest of the four submitted bids to install an electronic toll collection (ETC) system on the bridge connecting Jamestown to Newport. The bid includes the design, development, installation and maintenance of the EZPass toll collection system. The project is expected to be completed by early 2009.

Last November, Congressman Patrick Kennedy secured $500,000 in federal funds to help offset the cost of the implementing the new ETC system for the span, which opened in 1969.

"In light of the difficult budget issues, both locally and nationally, we are very grateful that Congressman Kennedy was able to secure these funds," Earl "Buddy" Croft, executive director of RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority, said in a statement. "This funding will help us to defray the costs of EZPass implementation."

Caseta Technologies Inc. is a privately held company that has been delivering complete ETC systems and Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) technology solutions for over 10 years. Caseta has designed, developed and delivered ETC systems for many toll authorities, including Metropolitan Transit Authority bridges and tunnels in New York, the largest toll authority in the world. Caseta's ETC software and integrated hardware currently manages over 700,000 transactions daily with an install base of over 200 lanes.

The EZPass electronic toll collection system is used on bridges and toll roads from Virginia to Maine. EZPass tags are battery powered RFID transponders that communicate with reader equipment built into toll collection lanes. ETC systems have several benefits, including an increase in patron convenience, improvement of traffic flow, and a reduction of traffic congestion and the resulting emissions that can cause pollution.

In other RITBA business, the firm of Pannone, Lopes and Devereaux was re-appointed as legal counsel after responding to an RFP for legal services. The firm was awarded the position of general counsel while others will be used for specialty situations, Darlington said.

The panel also approved a request from Executive Director Croft for $25,000 to $30,000 to purchase equipment required by state troopers for overweight truck enforcement.

"If we buy the equipment, we can get a commitment from the troopers to show up and use it," Croft said. "Otherwise we have to wait in line for a unit to be available and for someone to move it from another location." Croft added, with the equipment on hand, all the troopers would have to do is run the trucks through and check their weight.

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