Toll roads and car parks

Cintra's management policy aims to make quality service a basic pillar of the Company culture. The main points in this policy are:

  • Ascertaining customers' needs and expectations so as to design products and services that fully satisfy them.

  • Constantly improving the effectiveness of the Integrated Quality and Environment System, and establishing and revising objectives and goals in both areas.

  • Achieving good work right from the start by optimising the profitability of all processes and the use of natural resources and raw materials, as well as monitoring impacts on biodiversity and energy consumption.

  • Including quality and environmental needs in training programs and encouraging all employees to apply best environmental practices and constantly improve processes.

To achieve these objectives, Cintra had been implementing an Integrated Quality and Environment System for bidding on, implementing and operating transport infrastructure concessions since 2006. Toll roads in Spain, Portugal and Chile have already implemented this Quality Management System (SGC) certificate to the ISO 9001 standard and Cintra Chile certified the Bosque toll road in 2007. All business divisions in the car park area (off-street parking, ORA and tow-away services) also have certified quality management systems in place.

These quality systems include:

  • Congestion detection and management system. The congestion prevention and toll road management system Tollflow® is a powerful tool for optimising toll road operations, since it enables computerised alerts to be issued when congestion is detected and provides an extremely useful data bank for planning toll area service. The system has been effective at AUSOL, where a pilot test was conducted during the times of year with peak traffic: Easter and summer. In view of the excellent results, Cintra has decided to implement the Tollflow® system in the Indiana Toll Road, which is slated to begin operations before summer 2008.

  • High occupancy vehicle management. This year, field tests for the DAVAO (Automatic Detection of High Occupancy Vehicles) system were conducted on the Madrid-Levante toll road. The project aims to develop a system capable of automatically identifying the number of occupants in a vehicle as it passes by a tower. High occupancy detection is beneficial for users, since it reduces or eliminates tolls and allows transport authorities to manage infrastructures more rationally. Toll road concession companies with this type of system will have a competitive edge in bids in which occupancy-differentiated tolls must be applied. The DAVAO tests were conducted in channelled toll settings; tests in free flow conditions on US toll roads are scheduled to begin in 2008, since the main HOV (High Occupancy Vehicles) lane projects in that country are being proposed for free flow traffic environments.

These systems allowed Cintra to achieve significant improvements in service operations in 2007, highlighting the following:

  • The largest renovation project in 2007, which was the replacement of the Indiana Toll Road toll collection system in use, the termination of the system in the open toll section and its execution in the closed toll section. The new Back Office system was also developed to manage collection transactions and monitor collection mechanisms as a complement.

  • The Chicago Skyway concession company refurbished its electronic toll lanes. This project completes the refurbishment of toll area equipment to optimise operations in varying traffic. The changeover to the Back Office System will be implemented in 2008.

  • AUSOL is also working on renovation and progress is being made in developing a new manual lanes system together with the associated Back Office system, which will be implemented during the first semester of 2008.

  • In Portugal, the granting ministry encouraged SCUTs (shadow toll road concession companies) to make changes in the concession model that involve implementing free flow electronic toll collection systems. The Norte Litoral SCUT is conducting a pilot electronic toll collection test in a section to the north of the city of Oporto.

  • The granting authorities at AUTEMA modified the specific conditions for collecting tolls from residents and applied subsidies as of the first section, which makes it obligatory to implement control towers where aerials and cameras similar to free flow toll collection systems are mounted to obtain data that is sent to the operations centre via fibre optic cables.