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MFS NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES TO BUILD FIRST PRIVATE, ALL AVI HIGHWAY WITH ELECTRONIC TOLL AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- MFS Network Technologies, Inc., an Omaha-based subsidiary of MFS Communications Company, Inc., today announced that it has been selected to provide the Electronic Toll and Traffic Management (ETTM) systems for one of the first privately owned toll roads to be built in the U.S. in decades.
 Designed to relieve congestion on State Route 91 (SR-91), which connects California's Orange and Riverside Counties, the highway is one of the first to feature a 100 percent Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI)-based ETTM system. Included are technologies developed by MFS Network Technologies, using Texas Instruments Registration and Identification System (TIRIStm), that will serve as the foundation for implementation of broader Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS) applications.
 The estimated $100 million development project encompasses the addition, or "overbuild," of four express toll lanes to a heavily traveled, almost 14-mile, stretch of SR-91 by building over the median strip now separating the highway's existing eight lanes. The project is being developed by the California Private Transportation Co., L.P. (CPTC), which holds a franchise issued by the state of California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) to study, finance, design, construct and operate a privately owned toll road. SR-91 is expected to be the first project implemented as a result of California State Assembly Bill 680, passed in July 1989, which authorized Build-Transfer- Operate franchises by the state for privately funded highway construction.
 "Complex intelligent or smart' highways require an integrated and comprehensive system approach for vehicle classification, counting, processing and automated storage to support retrieval for billing, reporting, audit and enforcement," said Kevin Moersch, president of MFS Network Technologies. "At present, the industry is being served with various non-integrated products and services from companies who have not yet developed a master plan or made the necessary level of commitment to design and implement an overall system solution.
 "Working together, MFS Network Technologies and TI are creating advanced AVI technologies, which MFS Network Technologies is integrating and implementing into advanced ETTM systems that provide virtually 100 percent accuracy," said Moersch.
 MFS Network Technologies' AVI subsystem identifies a vehicle via a TIRIS radio frequency transponder manufactured by Texas Instruments. Placed on a dashboard or attached to a license plate, the transponder carries a unique programmable identification code. As drivers pass by a TIRIS radio frequency reader located in a designated toll collection area, the system automatically assesses the appropriate charge to either a pre- or post-payment user account maintained on toll agency computers.
 "While the CPTC SR-91 overbuild' represents several firsts,' perhaps the most noteworthy is that it is one of the first roadways to have a 100 percent AVI toll collection system operation," said Dave Slinger, general manager of TIRIS North American operations, based in Attleboro, Mass. "Because the entire process is accomplished at highway speeds, without requiring drivers to stop, toll collection congestion is eliminated.
 "In addition, the ability to pay tolls without stopping will help eliminate increased air pollution and energy/fuel consumption that results from idling vehicles caught in otherwise jammed toll booth lanes," said Singer.
 Other major elements of the SR-91 ETTM system include:
 -- A Video Enforcement System that captures a video image of violating vehicles' license plates.
 -- A Fiber Optic Communication Network linking all video, voice and data subsystems.
 -- Variable Message Signs to advise motorists of highway conditions.
 -- Vehicle Detection & Video Surveillance that surveys traffic conditions and supports the Traffic Management System.
 -- A Command and Control Center computing system, and
 -- A Mobile Communication System linking toll road operations to the California Highway Patrol and CALTRANS.
 The AVI/ETTM system's unique capabilities will enable CPTC to alleviate traffic congestion and minimize commute time. CPTC can also implement congestion pricing techniques that differentiate peak and non- peak fees when congestion threatens to slow commute times excessively. High Occupancy Vehicles, with three or more passengers, will be authorized by the ETTM system and be allowed to travel free of charge on the new express toll lanes.
 "We at CALTRANS believe that the specification we have adopted will lead to the next generation of automated traffic devices," said Carl Williams, assistant director, Federal Fiscal Planning for CALTRANS. "The department is very pleased that the developer of the first private toll road in the U.S. in decades in making an effort to meet that specification."
 Designed to meet or exceed standards and specifications issued by CALTRANS in July 1992, the MFS Network Technologies AVI system is a key element in current and advanced ETTM systems and an important element in the ongoing integration of IVHS technologies. The SR-91 overbuild is the first project formally announced by MFS Network Technologies and TI since forming their strategic alliance in December 1992.
 Construction of the SR-91 express toll lanes is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 1993, with full operation planned for December 1995. CPTC's 35-year franchise extends to 2030, when the roadway will pass into CALTRANS' control.
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Ingish, 708-218-7316, or Claire Fennell, 708-218-7232, both of MFS Public Relations; or Bridgeman Communications, 617-451-3325, or Roland Onorato, 508-699-3450, for Texas Instruments/


CO: MFS Network Technologies, Inc. ST: Nebraska, California IN: CPR SU: CON

LR -- NY098 -- 9774 01/27/93 15:02 EST
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Date:Jan 27, 1993
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