|Parsippany, NJ Sep 11, 2007 - Avis Budget Group, Inc., the parent company of Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car, today announced the expansion of electronic toll collection with new services in Florida, Colorado and Puerto Rico. Available now in Puerto Rico and rolling out to Florida next week and Colorado later this fall, these services eliminate the need for car rental customers to carry change or wait in long cash payment lines, as now they can simply zip through electronic toll payment lanes.
Avis and Budget vehicles in Puerto Rico feature AutoExpreso transponders that enable car rental customers to drive through express toll lanes at 16 toll plazas throughout the island. In Florida and Colorado, Avis and Budget vehicles will utilize PlatePass«, which allows customers to utilize high-speed toll lanes without the need for a vehicle transponder. In both programs, toll charges and daily fees for the service will be processed as a separate charge to the credit or debit card that was presented by the customer at the time of rental.
Avis Budget Group successfully launched the first expanded electronic toll payment program in the Northeast United States in 2006 with transponder-equipped vehicles operating on the E-ZPassSM network, in conjunction with its provider Highway Toll Administration, LLC (HTA), and in metropolitan Houston with the introduction of PlatePass, offered by American Traffic Solutions. The program was later expanded to the I-Pass network in the Chicago metropolitan area in early 2007, and to date, more than 250,000 customers have taken advantage of the offering.
"Electronic toll collection is a real time-saver for travelers," said Michael Caron, vice president of product and program development for Avis Budget Group, Inc. "The service is very popular with Avis' business customers who equate the time saved to being more productive on their business trip, and with cost-conscious travelers who rent with Budget and value the time they gain by not waiting at the cash toll lanes on highways. In addition to making travel more convenient, research has found that paying for tolls electronically reduces vehicle emissions and reduces fuel consumption due to reduced waiting at toll plazas."
More than 380,000 vehicles in the Avis and Budget fleet are enrolled in the PlatePass system; 38,000 vehicles are equipped with transponders for use on the E-ZPass and I-Pass networks; and, 3,000 vehicles are now equipped for use on the AutoExpreso network. E-ZPass is available in the Northeast United States from Maine to Virginia for $1.50 per day, plus toll charges. I-Pass is available in the metropolitan Chicago area for $1.50 per day plus toll charges while PlatePass is offered in the metropolitan Houston area, Colorado and Florida for $2.00 per day used, in addition to tolls. AutoExpreso is offered in Puerto Rico for $1.50 per day, plus toll charges.
"Avis Budget Group has more vehicles equipped with electronic toll collection transponders than any other car rental company," said Caron. "The transponders allow renters to bypass cash lanes at all tolls in the Northeast, the Chicago metropolitan area and Puerto Rico, including those with lift gates."
To make a reservation or to learn more about renting a vehicle with electronic toll collection visit www.avis.com and www.budget.com, call Avis at 1-800-331-1212 and Budget at 1-800-527-0700 or contact a local travel professional.
About Highway Toll Administration
Highway Toll Administration, LLC (HTA) provides electronic toll collection services, video-based toll payment services, and full service toll violations processing and administration to the auto industry, and primarily to rental car agencies. Founded in October 2002, HTA is an industry-leading private company and is not affiliated with any governmental agencies. For more information on HTA, visit www.htallc.com.
About American Traffic Solutions
American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS) provides electronic toll collection services for rental car companies through its branded PlatePass product. ATS is a leading provider of technology and business solutions that support electronic toll and traffic management programs worldwide. ATS' PlatePass solution provides a unique, convenient, consumer offering to the rental car customer. The technology and service is built based on real-world experience providing toll violation processing solutions to some of the largest Toll Authorities in the United States. ATS was founded in 1992 and operates or supports automated traffic safety and enforcement programs in Washington, California, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Alberta, Canada. For more information, visit www.platepass.com and www.atsol.com.
About Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Avis Budget Group (NYSE: CAR) is a leading provider of vehicle rental services, with operations in more than 70 countries. Through its Avis and Budget brands, the company is the largest general-use vehicle rental company in each of North America, Australia, New Zealand and certain other regions. Avis Budget Group is headquartered in Parsippany, N.J. and has more than 30,000 employees. For more information about Avis Budget Group, visit www.avisbudgetgroup.com.