New Jersey drops WorldCom, selects ACS for E-Zpass toll system

New Jersey is moving to hire Affiliated Computer Services Inc. to take over its troubled E-Zpass toll collection system from WorldCom Inc., state officials said July 11.

The Department of Transportation will make the award to ACS of Dallas under the provisions of the state's emergency contracting situation, said Micah Rasmussen, a Department of Transportation spokesperson.

The dollar value of the award has not yet been determined.

New Jersey fired WorldCom of Clinton, Miss., July 2 as the contractor for its E-Zpass system.

State officials currently are reviewing WorldCom's contract performance to see whether to keep a portion of the $200 million performance bond the company posted as part of the original contract.

The performance bond is held by Travelers Insurance of Hartford, Conn., Rasmussen said.

In a June 11 report to New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, Transportation Department Commissioner Jamie Fox had recommended that the state replace WorldCom with ACS, noting that electronic toll collection is not one of WorldCom's core businesses.

Rasmussen said New Jersey's E-Zpass system is a popular system with state residents, but one that has been "plagued by millions of false violation notices being mailed out."

He said there were documented cases of New Jersey residents receiving as many as 40 erroneous delinquent notices through the mail in one day while WorldCom held the contract.

Janis Langley, an ACS spokeswoman, said the company expects to deliver a program that not only improves operations and performance, but begins to reduce erroneous violations.

ACS currently operates electronic toll collection systems in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and South Carolina.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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