Electronic toll firm in major market push

22 May 2007

Electronic toll collection firm eTrip Services Ireland is planning a major marketing push in the light of full interoperability being rolled out on all Irish toll roads.

Last week the West Link and East Link in Dublin were added to the list of roads with which the company’s electronic tag is compatible.

By law all toll plazas are required to have an electronic toll collection system. Each toll plaza operates its own scheme, with eTrip providing electronic toll collection for the Dublin Port Tunnel since its launch in January. Its tag was also previously compatible with most of the other toll roads – M50, M4, M1 and M8.

“The advent of interoperability now offers us a platform to build on our success to date with Dublin’s Port Tunnel,” said Ciara O’Brien, general manager, eTrip Services Ireland.

ETrip is a small electronic tag fixed to the inside of a vehicle windscreen that automatically records your toll bill. Customers can buy the tag for €30 or rent it. Private customers can use a prepaid service; business customers can use prepaid or postpaid.

“As from next week we’ll be doing a substantial marketing campaign,” said Joanne Cunningham, sales and marketing manager, eTrip Services Ireland. “Without the West Link and East Link it wasn’t as easy to sell it. We were waiting for interoperability to come in. From now on the tags will work on all tolls roads.”

The Eazy Pass electronic toll collection system, operated by National Toll Roads, is the market leader at present.

ETrip Services Ireland intends to combine the tolling element of its tagging system with other services for its customers, such as car parking and access control. Eventually, it hopes that customers will even be able to pay for petrol using the electronic tag.

“Car parking will be the next thing that will come on board. It should be sometime this year,” said Cunningham. “We’re also looking at disabled parking, event parking and access control. We’ve quite a few things in the pipeline but it’s going to take time.

“It’s all about convenience. You’ll be using the one tag to pay for your tolls, your car parking – eventually you may even be able to pay your petrol on it,” she said.

ETrip is a joint venture between French company Egis Projects and Irish company Electro Automation. It was founded in July 2004 and employs 10 people in Dublin.

By Niall Byrne

Pictured – Oliver Doherty, IT manager; Ciara O’Brien, general manager; and Joanne Cunningham, sales and marketing manager, eTrip Services Ireland