Fas Trak California - Paper Example

8 pages
1974 words
University of Richmond
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Fas Trak is a pricing project that is based in California and specifically in San Diego with a significant role that is owed to the general public. Its principal task is, therefore, to offer facility services to drivers who strive and drive singly but in the end, they pay a fee for the same. Thus, services offered by Fas Trak are those of a toll facility and in San Diego to be specific, it aids in reducing traffic congestions within the place. There are many studies on Fas Trak that is meant to identify both its services and also portray its performances (Scott, 205-207). The paper will seek to identify the impacts that Fas Trak has had on the people of San Diego. Similarly, there will be in depth examination of Caltrans agreement including their policies and the charges.

History of Fas Trak

Fas Trak came into existence when in 1990 the 1523 Bill was passed in the state of California and required the transportation sector to develop toll agencies for drivers. Three years later, the Transportation Corridor Agencies opened a toll station in Orange County, and for the first time, the Electronic Toll Collection began its services. After that, there was a widespread development of toll stations in California each of which aimed at improving the transport network. There exist agencies that are responsible for delegating responsibilities to the toll users as well as maintaining and implementing policies to be used in the industry. The primary responsibility of Fas Trak is thus to ease the transport network congestion that has been a menace in San Diego for quite a long time. The reason behind its success lies with the fact that there is the use of technology for vehicles in transit (Fulford, 81).

Caltrans Agreement of 1990

The Caltrans agreement stands for California Department of Transportation, and this department is responsible for developing specifications necessary for toll agencies. The deal that was established in the year 1990 was meant to enhance funding of private sector transport projects. The whole idea came up in 1989 when there was the need to ensure that the transport sector was improved. Therefore the Assembly Bill 580 became the initiating point of a franchise between Caltrans and private entities. For this contract, there are stages that it has to undergo before being entirely used (Borrell, Anna, and Janusz 64-73). The first phase begins with the development, and this is the introduction period where policies are brought forward for view and assessment by the contracting parties. The second stage is the preliminary design, and at this point, there is a series of tests done on the project to verify its validity. The other scene is the engineering stage whereby the contract is further used to ensure that it is not only valid but also reliable for toll agencies. Finally, the whole deal has to be subjected to the environmental view stage, and at this point, it has to be verified by its friendly nature.

The bill contained up to four projects all of which are meant to provide significantly useful benefits to the users who highly depend on it. In the agreement, all the facilities are supposed to be held by the state, and this is applicable throughout service. Regarding the location of the plants, one is in the south of California whereas the other one is in the northern part (Fulford, 81). Since its implementation, it has managed to cover a total of one hundred and fifteen miles all of which have cost 2.5billion dollars. Just like any other legal contracts, Caltrans has rules and regulations as well as policies governing the participating parties. One of the significant plans in this agreement is the lease of the facility that may even exist until the lapse of 35 years. The center is also expected to have several participants who have roles that they have to play diligently.

The first group of participants is the developers who have an active role in ensuring that the project goes through the introduction stage without any complications. The other group of essential individuals is the engineers who at times are referred to as the design personnel. The role that these persons play is that of managing any kinds of toll agency designs as well as construction duties. The contract also requires financial advisers whose purpose is that of giving incite regarding revenues and expenditure. They also play a significant role of accounting, and it entails management of funds that the firm is awarded at every point. The agreement similarly states that the operations that are necessary in the toll have to be played by the contracting parties adequately. Also, toll collection exercises have to be met during this period, and thus this role is vital for the contracting parties. The collection process also has to be done with minimal regulations as this is deemed necessary in the agreement. In this project, trust and faithfulness altogether with accountability is essential, and thus for any excess fees that are collected, the same will have to be used to settle any existing debts (Borrell-Rovira, Anna, and Janusz 64-73).

The laws that the agreement between Caltrans and the private entities got to adhere to is that of the federal laws that are presently governing business in California. Also, the local standards and regulations that are developed in California are applicable in this case. As the state guides significant operations, so is it responsible for acquisition of land and other services such as maintenance and policing are done by this group. The different role that the Caltrans had to fulfill in this agreement is that of leasing its development rights to the airspace. Emphasis was also placed on toll roads when it comes to management and even participation in the required duties. Rights applicable in this case was only limited to the available franchise rights available for the contract as per the rules governing the Assembly Bill 580. Besides toll roads, other facilities considered by the Caltrans include highways, bridges, transit systems, truck lanes and also freight ways. The inclusion of all these institutions is done with the aim of overruling the possibility of monopolistic powers in the project (Fulford, 81).

Fas Trak Policies

It is inclusive of all the acknowledgments and also the consent to terms by the participant once an agreement has been made on the same. The drivers who are the active participants, in this case, are required to pay all charges including fees to the Fas Trak account. Upon signing the agreement, one is expected to meet all costs accordingly, and thus failed to meet such payments may amount to legal suits altogether. The other policy that ought to be obeyed is the installation of a toll tag that contains instructions meant to guide the toll drivers. It is also a requisition by the agency that the drivers have to adhere to the guiding laws and regulations. Such regulations include rules, statutes and even policies relating to state-owned tolls. During drives one has to be watchful of the traffic rules that apply to the toll station observing such rules is fundamental as a failure of the same attracts fines (Mysore, 17).

Other policies that need to be observed include the setting of declaration switch in the toll tag and the same has to be done by the policies and regulations provided by Fas Trak. Also before any travel one has to be aware of the rules of the area or destination that they are visiting at that time. Getting such acquaintances enables one to follow ordinances that have been put in place by both local authorities and other law regulating bodies. The different policy necessary to adhere to is that of review of any statements and should question regarding the same arise, one should be free to contact the Fas Trak authorities for clarification (Jordan, 382-388). Most problems often emanate from charges and the bodies resolve such issues without problems or delays of any kind. It is of importance to raise issues affecting expenses within 30 days of its occurrence since its validity lasts for only this period. Of importance to note is that it is necessary always to keep Fas Trak aware of any changes in personal details. Such details include names, addresses, mailing address, location, number plates and also card number as well as its expiry date. Its importance lies with the fact that such information is useful in tracking performances as well as protecting one from any harm that could befall them in their duties.

The agreement in such instance often calls for inclusion in the Fas Trak system and it has three significant legal roles to play. The first position is that of processing the existence of a contract relationship meant to guide the actual contracting parties. The processing also puts in place the duties and responsibilities of each to govern their harmonious relations and existence (Scott, 205-207). The second role is that of collecting tolls and even penalties that are related to activities surrounding the toll agency services. Lastly, the other character played by this organization is that of ensuring that agency policies are set and adhered to accordingly. The different applicable rule is that of parking of vehicles used in the tolling exercise such that any valid toll tag permits one to park cars in any parking facilities. The parking program ought to be accessible as this will enable ease of movement as well as service delivery accordingly.

There also exists policies in the Fas Trak agreement which applies to account balances, fees as well as toll charges for drivers. Two payment options are available for use by the toll drivers, and that is the credit card option as well as the check option. When using the credit card option, there is a minimum charge that is paid monthly, and the account has to be replenished from time to time. However, with the use of the check option, the customer service receives the toll charges and also plays the role of monitoring the account. Maintenance of all accounts is critical as failure to follow this rule could be considered as operating against the provisions. The other fees, in this case, goes hand in hand with the Toll tags that attract deposits to be made from time to time during operations (Jordan, 382-388).

The other policy of concern regards the termination of contracts with Fas Trak, and upon the call to do it, one is required to submit all materials they had been issued with by the supervisors. It includes toll tags and Fas Trak systems during the initiation of their agreement. Termination often occurs due to lapse of time or due to any other reason that is deemed reasonable to end an existing contractual relationship (Scott, 205-207). There also exists an indemnification policy meant to guard the toll drivers against any liabilities or losses that arise from accidents and injuries. The directors and commissioners are therefore responsible for meeting such misfortunes upon occurrence. Also, any failure to comply with the government policies or any other regulations offered during this process is bound to attract fines and penalties to the lawbreaker. All these systems have to be carefully analyzed and subjected to the government laws and rules as provided by the state of California.

Development and funding

Toll funding and development concern the means through which Fas Trak obtains its revenue and also the strategic plans to existing in the foreseeable future. Therefore about the financing, it is commonly known to be funded by Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) as its responsible for administering and programming revenue generation for toll operations. The known initial fees that are applied by BATA, in this case, are often five dollars each of which is distributed accordingly to the services and operations that a toll agency operates in the allocated area. The first dollar is designated to take c...

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