Building and Maintaining Roads to EfficiencyWed, 11/01/2017 - 16:31
Q: What is the difference between the road network CAPUFE operates and networks franchised to third parties?
A: The network CAPUFE operates entails 44 highways totaling 4,198km of road or 15,146.35km when adding all the lanes, amounting to 44 percent of the National Toll Roads Network. This network also includes 18 national and 14 international bridges, representing 65 percent of the National Toll Bridges Network. CAPUFE is the largest operator of toll roads in Mexico and one of the largest worldwide. This governmental body has almost 60 years of experience in operating and maintaining toll road infrastructure in Mexico and was a pioneer in the implementation of electronic toll service technologies. CAPUFE offers over 15 services as an added value to its toll road network. These include emergency ramps, user insurance, medical assistance and telecom technologies, including the 074 hotline, through which various toll road services like traffic assistance and information are provided. CAPUFE’s Integral Emergency Attention System handles accidents and medical emergencies. CAPUFE’s vehicle park includes 298 emergency response units including ambulances, towing trucks, dynamic traffic-signaling units and rescue units, all operated by specialized staff and ready to provide efficient assistance anywhere along CAPUFE’s road network.
Q: How do CAPUFE, SCT and other public agencies interact to develop new highways and renewal projects?
A: CAPUFE is in charge of renewing, expanding and modernizing the existing road infrastructure it operates. However, building new roads is the responsibility of SCT. In the case of concessions awarded to CAPUFE, this decentralized body defines and proposes maintenance and modernization projects for highways and bridges to SCT. SCT then procures the necessary funds from the Ministry of Finance using the Federal Expenditure Budget every fiscal year. For those highway and bridge projects that integrate the network of the National Infrastructure Fund (FONADIN), the process is different. CAPUFE defines and presents Banobras a proposal underlining the funds required to execute the projects. Banobras submits these proposals for authorization before the Technical Committee of FONADIN. This committee is composed of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, SCT, the Ministry of Public Service (SFP) and Banobras itself. It is the latter that provides CAPUFE with the authorized resources.
Q: How does CAPUFE plan to invest in technological developments for toll booths and electronic invoicing?
A: Since the beginning of the current administration CAPUFE has undertaken a wide modernization program in its toll road network. This program aims to widely publicize useful information to support safe, smooth user transit on CAPUFE’s roads, to handle incidents and to provide help and emergency services in a timely and efficient manner. This program entails the installation of variable-message electronic signs, monitoring and local control centers connected to the National Control Center and Users Assistance Central. Between 2012 and 2016, all toll equipment and systems within the Mexico City–Cuernavaca–Acapulco highway corridor and the Chamapa–Lecheria highway were renewed. Users can now pay the tolls electronically or with cash, which has significantly reduced crossing times at toll stations. In 2017, the technological modernization of the Mexico City–Queretaro– Irapuato highway corridor started. This corridor is vital for industry and tourism because of the number of vehicles transporting cargo and passengers through this road system.
Q: How much do you expect tolls to rise in the coming years?
A: CAPUFE’s tolls were dropping in relation to inflation between 2012–2016 because the tolls had not been raised since 2012. FONADIN ordered CAPUFE to raise its tolls 8.7 percent in November 2016 to reduce this lag. These new tolls enable CAPUFE to allocate funds to cover the costs of operation, user services and road maintenance. CAPUFE uses 56 percent of its budget to perform major or minor maintenance on its toll road network. In 2017 CAPUFE’s conservation and modernization program amounted to MX$7.3 billion.