SICE Australia managing director Manuel Gonzalez Arrojo and EastLink general manager information technology Bill Advic
The EastLink tollway has upgraded to a new state-of-the-art tolling back office system. The new mission critical IT system was provided by SICE, a global intelligent transport systems provider based out of Madrid, Spain.
Completed in 2008, Melbourne's 39-kilometre EastLink tollway is one of the largest and busiest tollways in the country.
Located in the east of the city and running predominantly north-south, EastLink is the major transport artery that connects the Eastern, Monash, Frankston and Peninsula Link Freeways. EastLink also has a relatively large number of interchanges with the major east-west arterial roads.
The area served by EastLink contains 1.8 million residents (40 per cent of Melbourne's population) and provides 800,000 full time equivalent jobs (34 per cent of Melbourne's workforce).
Victoria has recently started planning for the new North East Link, which will connect the Metropolitan Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway and EastLink. Once North East Link is constructed, EastLink will become a major part of Melbourne's completed orbital freeway.
Altogether, this means that EastLink is a critical component of Melbourne's transport network.
EastLink's back office tolling system
EastLink's back office tolling system is the billing system that manages customers' tolling accounts and maintains customer data - including customer contact details, vehicle and tag details, trip data, individual toll charges and payment information.
The system receives toll charges from the separate toll rating engine (which is connected to EastLink's roadside tolling points) and applies each toll to the customer account.
The back office tolling system processes customer payments, manages customer debts and enforcement of unpaid tolls.
The system includes the user interface for customer service officers at EastLink's customer contact centre as well as the website for customer self-service.
In short, EastLink's back office tolling system is mission critical.
It's also highly complex. The back office tolling system is the central controller for a network of data interfaces with a wide range of internal and external systems, including:
- EastLink toll rating engine and gantry systems at each of the 13 tolling points. Each gantry includes a set of DSRC tag readers, front and rear cameras for licence plate number image capture, and stereoscopic cameras for vehicle detection and dimensioning.
- EastLink interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system for customer self-service.
- EastLink fulfilment systems for delivery of tags and tag holders to customers.
- Banking payments gateway and BPAY interface for processing customer payments.
- Touch payments network installed at 3000 7-Eleven, United Petroleum and newsagents across the country, for receiving cash payments.
- Digital mail house for sending electronic and postal notifications to customers.
- Other tollways to support Australia-wide DSRC tag interoperability (interstate roaming)
- Vehicle registration authorities (e.g. VicRoads) for looking up contact details of motorists travelling without an account or trip pass and therefore incurring debts, for the purpose of sending toll invoices.
- Victoria Police for lodging information about motorists who fail to pay toll invoices, for the purpose of enforcement.
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