HELP Inc., the largest organization offering high-tech scale bypass, is experiencing rapid growth, according to officials at the HELP-sponsored Intelligent Transportation Systems/Commercial Vehicle Operations Freightvision seminar held August 9-11 in Nashville, TN.
Tennessee is the newest state to install the PrePass system, having completed installation at nine sites within the last 30 days. Tennessee less than a year ago made the decision to switch from the Advantage CVO program to HELP Inc. Previously, Tennessee had only one weigh station outfitted for automatic bypass.
HELP started in 1982 as a federal ITS demonstration project in the West. But when the funds ran out, the state agencies and trucking industry forged an unusual public/private partnership to keep the system going. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon supply the technology, and the system is largely paid for by the fleets who use it, who are charged a fee per successful scale bypass. Today, there are PrePass stations in 10 states, and HELP Inc. is negotiating with a number of other states to join the partnership. West Virginia is the newest state to sign up.
“While we’ve had steady growth, now it’s beginning to grow very rapidly,” reported Jerry Ward with Lockheed Martin. “We’re doing more in weeks today than we were doing in a year just a year ago.”
HELP Inc. is not the only organization offering scale bypass via transponder. Advantage CVO operates along the I-75 corridor. The Multi-jurisdictional Automated Preclearance System, or MAPS, operates in the Northwest. The two groups recently reached an interoperability agreement.