As the non-profit provider of PrePass services, HELP Inc.’s celebration of 25 years of service is highlighted by the largest truck enrollment in the history of the program – over 600,000 trucks. This milestone and continued growth is the result of strong industry support and innovation of the PrePass program.
HELP also launched the INFORM software suite, which provides data visualization to help improve fleet safety and reduce toll costs. These, in addition to PrePass ELD and PrePass Plus electronic toll payment services, provide expanded options, and value to PrePass customers.
As a pre-cursor to PrePass, the Crescent Project was launched in the early 1990s by six forward-thinking states and British Columbia, with a vision to improve highway safety by using technology to pre-screen and weigh commercial trucks at highway speeds. Following a years-long demonstration project, HELP was incorporated as a public-private partnership to oversee the deployment of the system nationwide.
The nation’s very first mainline bypass site opened in May 1993 at the Santa Nella Weigh Station on California’s I-5. Six months later, a Fall 1993 HELP Newsletter article reported that the Crescent Project had enrolled 4,300 vehicles. The author of the article thanked all the companies that had volunteered for the initial demonstration program, saying:
“These companies did more than just donate space on their bumper for a transponder, they contributed countless hours attaching and maintaining the transponders, updating their Crescent accounts, and answering all sorts of Crescent related surveys. These companies are the explorers and adventurers on the new frontier of Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems!”
Today, HELP’s growing network of over 300 fixed and mobile sites in 31 states enables over 67,000 fleets to safely bypass weigh stations to help improve safety and efficiency. During the first nine months of 2018, fleets received over 42 million bypasses during hours that weigh facilities were open. The program has provided carriers over 837 million bypasses since HELP began compiling bypass data 1997.
“As one of the original Crescent Project states, Texas is exceptionally proud of HELP’s quarter-century history of accomplishments in highway safety and efficiency,” said John D. Esparza, chair of the HELP Inc. board of directors, president, and CEO of Texas Trucking Association.
“I am privileged to be leading the Board of this unique public-private partnership into its next 25 years. Our members have the same dedication to highway safety as those government and industry visionaries who had the foresight to establish HELP and PrePass over two-and-a-half decades ago,” he said. “They are quickly moving highway safety and commercial vehicle efficiency into an even brighter future.”