September 17, 2014


IN: Indiana Toll Road failing despite 176 percent toll increase for trucks. Reports out of Indiana suggest that the foreign operators of the Indiana Toll Road will soon be filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to restructure more $6 billion in debt. The announcement comes just eight years into the Indiana Toll Road Concession Co.’s 75-year lease of the roadway and despite a 176 percent toll increase on five-axle trucks. . . . Prior to the lease, a five-axle truck paid $14 to cross the state. That same truck currently pays $38.70 regardless of whether the toll is paid in cash or through E-ZPass. The lease agreement also contained a “non-compete” clause that prohibits the state of Indiana from fixing up nearby toll-free roads that compete with the Indiana Toll Road for traffic. . . . The effects of the lease will continue to compound over time. According to lease language, the operator of the toll road is guaranteed a 3-percent toll increase per year through the year 2081. That means the current $38.70 toll paid by trucks will project out to more than $280 by the time the lease expires. Land Line Magazine

IL: Rahm to Aramark: Clean up the schools or clean out your desks. Responding to reports of filthy conditions inside Chicago Public Schools after privatizing janitorial management, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Aramark could “clean out the schools or they can clean out their desks and get out.” . . . Emanuel said Board President David Vitale has been in contact with the private management firm. Vitale and other board members had voted earlier this year to give Aramark a $260 million contract to manage the district’s custodians and cleaning supplies. . . . Principals have complained in a survey conducted by AAPPLE, an activist arm of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, that since Aramark took over, schools have not been well cleaned, supplies are inadequate and that they and teachers spend more time than ever cleaning the schools. CPS, when presenting the Aramark proposal in February, said the district would save money, schools would be more thoroughly cleaned and principals would be freed from managing their janitors so they could focus on instruction. Chicago Sun-Times

CFPB Accuses Corinthian Colleges Of Cheating Students. For-profit education company Corinthian Colleges Inc. misled students into taking out unaffordable loans by falsely advertising job prospects, then used illegal debt collection tactics to force distressed students to pay up, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Corinthian owns Everest Institute, Everest College, WyoTech and Heald colleges, which collectively have more than 70,000 students and annually receive $1.4 billion in federal financial aid. The company is winding down all its operations in an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education. Huffington Post

Likely bridges toll operator looking to grow in US. The company chosen Monday to operate the toll system for the Ohio River Bridges Project was formed nearly four years ago, when an Austrian firm bought a Canadian supplier of electronic toll equipment. . . . . Kapsch TrafficCom IVHS, whose parent company is headquartered in Austria, is known as an international toll road operator whose projects include European countries – such as the Czech Republic and Poland – and roads in Australia, Chile and India. One of its specialties is toll roads where tolls are assessed through license plates and transponders – the approach taken by Kentucky and Indiana. . . .[T]he company names North America as a region where it sees the “largest potential” in the tolling market, and where it has acquired several toll-related businesses since 2008. It also cites work with the E-ZPass system, which includes 24 agencies in 14 states and is planned for the Louisville bridges, and tolling software work on California’s Golden Gate Bridge. WDRB