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used as a key communication channel to assist with crisis management and business recovery. The EastLink website, call centre, social media and commercial radio traffic reports can also be used.

EASTLINK TOLLING SYSTEMS EastLink has the cheapest tolls in Australia, with cars rang- ing from just A$0.33 cents for a single section to a maximum A$6.04. EastLink is the only tollway in Australia to offer a weekend discount, which reduces car tolls by 20 per cent. Tag and video sensors are housed on gantries at EastLink’s

13 toll points. Control units synchronise the gantry sensors and process vehicle data. Toll points collect the data required to calculate a toll charge, while the actual trip construction, charge calculation and debiting of customers’ accounts is per- formed by a central tolling system. Vehicles passing a toll point are classified according to their

vehicle class, i.e. motorcycle, car, light or heavy commercial vehicle. Each time a vehicle passes a toll point, a transaction record is created, combining vehicle, tag and image details. On average, more than a million transaction records are created each day – more than any other tollway in Australia. In total, EastLink customers have approximately 440,000

accounts, with 800 new accounts opened each week. Approximately 790,000 tags are on issue and installed in customers’ vehicles. For customers wanting to use EastLink without an account,

 EastLink’s tunnels are served by cutting-edge ventilation systems

An overheight vehicle detection system automatically

deploys access control barriers to stop overheight vehicles entering the tunnels and no overheight vehicle damage has ever occurred. The barriers are also used to stop traffic from entering the tunnels in the case of an accident.

KEEPING EASTLINK MOTORISTS INFORMED Various systems keep motorists informed of EastLink traffic conditions, incidents, and planned maintenance activities. When not needed for incident or maintenance messages,

EastLink’s network of 18 Variable Message Signs (18) convey a public information addressing topics such as road safety. Within the tunnels, incident messages are broadcast to motor- ists using loudspeakers and the radio re-broadcast system. Twelve Traffic Information Signs along the road advise motor- ists of travel times to key destinations. At major interchanges, a total of 47 Traffic Condition Signs advise motorists of current traffic flow to provide assistance with route selection. EastLink’s customer email list now includes 360,000

addresses and is used to provide information about planned outages such as tunnel maintenance closures. This can be


trip passes are available online and at 3,000 retailers across the country. More than 270,000 trip pass sales were recorded in the last year. With the introduction of a smartphone web- site, online sales have increased from 43 to 76 per cent of all trip pass purchases. Customers who do not have an account or trip pass have

their vehicles identified through the image processing of number plates, and cross-referenced with vehicle registration databases to send toll invoices to vehicle owners.

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES AND EASTLINK EastLink is a keen supporter of new technology and the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems 2016 in Melbourne will be an outstanding opportunity for transport stakeholders to gather and explore the opportunities available to deliver advanced solutions for evolving travel demands. EastLink is also a partner of ARRB’s Australian Driverless

Vehicle Initiative that aims to address the necessary elements needed for the effective introduction of autonomous vehi- cles into Australia. Key EastLink representatives are involved in national work groups developing appropriate legislation, regulation and policy. ●

 Douglas Spencer-Roy is Corporate Affairs and Marketing Manager at ConnectEast, Melbourne, Victoria


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