PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Help Inc. has a lot of Canadian users for its PrePass scale bypass and electronic toll payment system, but doesn’t yet have any Canadian weigh stations that participate.
The company is trying to change that, and revealed during a press conference at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition that it was in discussions with“several Canadian provinces to bring the program here. When asked by Trucknews.com whether the rapidly expanding program would reach into Canada, Help Inc. president and CEO Karen Rasmussen said there are talks underway to do so.
“We have actually been in preliminary discussions with some of the provinces in Canada,” Rasmussen said. “When this program got started, B.C. was one of the pilot states, so it’s not a foreign concept and yes, there’s a lot of interest in extending it up there.”
She also said the network has been strengthening its presence on north-south routes to better accommodate Canadian trucks travelling into the US.
PrePass allows qualifying carriers to bypass inspection stations most of the time, generating time and financial savings.
A transponder located in the cab flashes green or red to notify the driver whether or not he or she can proceed without pulling into the scale. Most of the time, PrePass members are allowed to bypass the scale, though some are randomly chosen to pull through the scale to maintain the integrity of the system.
At ATA, Help introduced a new ElitePass transponder, which expands PrePass Plus electronic toll payment services to California and Kansas, with Oklahoma, Texas and other states coming on-board soon, Rasmussen announced. With PrePass Plus and the new ElitePass transponder, fleets will be able to combine nationwide scale bypass with electronic toll payment.
“This is going to allow essentially coast-to-coast bypassing and toll payment for truckers,” Rasmussen said. “To be able to offer one device that carriers can use both for bypass and for toll payment is a huge, huge benefit to them, as well as to tolling authorities and the 32 states that are in our PrePass program.”
The newly added tolling systems are in addition to the already existing PrePass Plus toll payment services through the E-Z-Pass network, the company says.
Today, more than 530,000 qualified trucks from more than 45,000 fleets use Help Inc.’s PrePass system. They are approaching 670 million weigh station by passes since 1997. The company says this has generated nearly US$4.8 billion in savings to motor carriers.
“Nobody likes paying tolls,” said HELP Inc. President and CEO Karen Rasmussen. “But in reality, tolls are a fact of life and will continue to be a growing part of how roads and bridges are funded in the future. In trucking, where time really equates to money and where every minute counts, a single technology that provides coast-to-coast electronic toll payment and couples it with weigh station bypassing for qualified fleets meets a critical industry need.”
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies