Friday, 9 March 2012

News briefs: France, Philippines, Romania


A press release from Kapsch reports that the company has won a contract to supply on board units for French heavy vehicle "ecotaxe" system for more than 25 million Euros.  Kapsch is known for its experience with DSRC (tag and beacon) tolls in Austria, the Czech Republic and elsewhere.  Now it has moved into the GNSS (GPS) domain of tolls involving distance measurement.  I remember a few years ago a rather inane debate at a conference between a Kapsch representative (arguing against GNSS tolling) and a Toll Collect representative arguing about the "best technology", when the real answer is "depends on what you are doing and where you are doing it".  It is good to see that Kapsch is no longer beholden to DSRC alone.

This puts the Austrian Kapsch in the centre of French heavy vehicle tolls, and provides a platform to build a wider business in satellite enabled tolling, without roadside gantries to measure distance.


Manila Bulletin reports that private infrastructure investment firm, Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp, has proposed a 14 km elevated toll road from Buendia in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City in metropolitan Manila. It would be six lanes and is called the SMC-Citra alignment.

Predicted travel time savings are over an hour at peak time, as the current journey time on surface streets can be up to 1.5 hours. The cost is estimated at US$594 million, and is expected to be a fully commercial toll road (entirely funded from tolls).


Romania Business Insider reports that Romania's 2011-2020 National Road Safety Strategy happens to mention inclusion of a "congestion tax", reflecting the Energy Strategy for the Bucharest Municipality.  The report also notes that Romania had an 86.4% increase in newly registered cars in the month of January 2012 compared to the same month in 2011, meaning Romanians are buying new cars in increasing numbers.  Now this report doesn't say when or how congestion charging might be introduced in Bucharest, yet it is notable that growth in car ownership and traffic in this former totalitarian state is giving rise to consideration of the need for demand management measures to address congestion and pollution.

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