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Electronic Toll Collection Debuts in Manila, Philippines; TransCore Completes Cutting-Edge Infrastructure Project.

Business Editors

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MADRID, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 23, 2000

TransCore Inc., a global leader in intelligent transportation system (ITS) solutions, successfully opened the first electronic toll collection (ETC) road in Manila, Philippines on August 27.

The road's ETC system will help reduce transit times and traffic congestion for Manila commuters, streamline toll transaction processing and enhance auditing capabilities.

The toll collection system was installed along sections of a new elevated toll road, the Metro Manila Skyway, as well as two existing toll roads, the South Luzon Expressway and the South Luzon Tollway. The system covers about 30 miles (48 km) in a north/south direction, linking the central business area of Makati City in Metro Manila to Calamba and points south of Manila in Central Luzon.

The system incorporates automatic vehicle identification (AVI) transponders, called E-PASS, and magnetic-encoded cards for recording trips (transactions). This provides a robust infrastructure for comprehensive audit capability, and E-PASS streamlines toll transaction processing. Payment for E-PASS transactions are made via pre-paid accounts registered with the E-PASS Customer Service Center. The toll collection system also supports payment by cash or coupons.

As with ETC roads elsewhere, E-PASS uses windshield-mounted radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and lane-mounted tag readers to automatically register a car when it passes through a toll plaza. Motorists using the wireless technology no longer have to stop, wait or fumble for cash, so traffic flows faster. The hardware is integrated with TransCore's proprietary traffic and business management software. It includes a QNX-based Lane Controller (QNX is a popular real-time operating system), SATS (scaleable automated tolling system) Real-Time Monitor and Web-based Central Computer Business Processing System (jointly developed by TransCore and Northern Lakes Data Corporation, a leading provider of Web-based ETC custom software solutions).

ETC is new in the Philippines and is making waves with technology-hungry Filipinos who are excited to have the next cutting-edge device. "Everybody knows the 'I've-got-a-brand-new-toy' feeling," a Filipino journalist recently noted in an article about E-PASS. E-PASS users include commuters, private bus and jeepney services, as well as industrial and commercial enterprises that transport products and materials from Metro Manila to manufacturing technology and business parks in the region south of Metro Manila. ETC users are benefiting from greater convenience with morning and evening commute reductions of 20 to 30 minutes by use of dedicated ETC lanes.

The new toll collection system incorporates automatic vehicle classification (AVC) which allows for more efficient end-to-end transactions auditing for Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corporation (CMMTC), the toll road concession holder for the Metro Manila Skyway and the South Luzon Expressway. The original premise for the ETC road was that CMMTC wanted a complete end-to-end auditing capability, as did the company's financial backers. CMMTC privately financed the construction of the Metro Manila Skyway and refurbishment of the South Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Tollway including the development of the toll collection system.

The completion of the new toll collection system was a momentous achievement. TransCore and CMMTC overcame difficulties and delays that are common with large, complex infrastructure projects in the Philippines and Asia. The companies kept the project on course despite two years of delays in the civil works construction. The construction of the road was completed in spite of the economic downturn in Asia and the Philippines that occurred halfway through the project.

The completed toll road is impressive for its size and complexity. It has 32 toll plazas and a total of 154 toll lanes, 94 of which are ETC-equipped, 8 of which are dedicated ETC lanes. Almost 300,000 vehicles traverse the tollway daily. Design components include an open (flat-rate) segment linked directly to a closed (variable-rate based on distance traveled) segment. CMMTC plans to increase the number of ETC lanes in the system by 10 over the next few months. CMMTC is also developing other toll road projects in the Philippines.

"This was an important and precedent-setting project for TransCore in the expanding Asian-Pacific market for ETC systems and services," said John Worthington, president and CEO of TransCore Inc. "Cezar Quiambo (CEO and president, CMMTC) was instrumental in seeing this project through to improve the everyday life of Manila's motorists and demonstrating that massive infrastructure projects can be completed in spite of considerable obstacles."

About TransCore

TransCore, a privately held company, is the world's leading provider of mobile payment systems that enhance motorists' convenience, improve mobility and enable m-commerce through telematic technology and applications software. TransCore is also an experienced leader in wireless radio frequency identification (RFID) communication technology. TransCore has installations in 32 countries with broad and diverse expertise. TransCore's system and technical leadership include electronic toll and congestion pricing systems, customer service centers, commercial vehicle operations, intelligent border crossings, trade corridor applications, advanced traffic management systems, advanced traveler information systems, and enterprise-wide transportation management systems. TransCore has almost 1,400 employees with more than 80 offices throughout the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.transcore.com.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 23, 2000
Words:866
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