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Metro Board Approves 18 Contracts with Tow Truck Operators to Bolster Metro Freeway Service Patrol

Thursday August 09, 2007

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors recently approved 18 contracts with tow truck operators to patrol congested LA County freeways and remove stranded autos and trucks before traffic backs up.

The contracts, totaling $31.8 million, support the Metro Freeway Service Patrol (MFSP), a free service for motorists sponsored by Metro, CHP and Caltrans. MFSP helps minimize freeway traffic congestion on more than 400 freeway miles by helping motorists get their disabled cars and trucks moving after they have stalled because of minor incidents such as flat tires or running out of gas , or if necessary, towing, the disabled vehciles off the freeway. Stalled vehicles cause more than 50 percent of traffic congestion.

The new contracts replace 20 expiring contracts for existing towing service. Included are two super beat contracts which are combined from four existing contracts. Five new contractors are joining the Metro Freeway Service Patrol for a total of 30 contractors providing service on 40 contracts/beats.

There are a total of one-hundred fifty one MSFP tow trucks that patrol Los Angeles County freeways with service operating from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends. Service on weekends and mid-day 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. are provided with a reduced number of tow trucks compared to the normal weekday morning and afternoon commute rush hour traffic.

The MFSP currently assists an average of 25,000 motorists each month, approximately 300,000 a year. Statistics show that on more than 70 percent of the assists made, the wait time for tow truck service is less than five minutes.

The Metro Freeway Service Patrol was started in 1991 and is jointly managed by Metro, CHP and Caltrans and is funded by state highway funds and local Proposition C transportation sales tax monies.

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