In the 2014 Budget Bill (Section 34.17(a), the General Assembly required the North Carolina Board of Transportation to study how fees, sponsorship and privatization might be used to reduce the use of public funds for services provided by NCDOT. At its monthly meeting, on February 5, the Board approved a contract for Travelers Marketing LLC to oversee sponsorship of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Assistance Motorists Patrol (IMAP) program.
IMAP drivers are trained NCDOT personnel who assist stranded motorists, clear the roadway and provide temporary traffic control to help keep the state’s roadways flowing smoothly.
Travelers Marketing guarantees $2 million in total revenue over four years, which will help offset NCDOT’s cost to operate the program.
“This public-private partnership allows us to continue to provide this important service for travelers through our state while reducing NCDOT’s costs,” Rodger Rochelle, NCDOT’s director of Technical Services, said. “The trucks and uniforms will remain easily identifiable as IMAP, and the high level of service will be maintained.”
Contract details include:
- NCDOT will continue to oversee all IMAP operations
- Up to three sponsors are allowed statewide as long as their service area is clearly defined geographically
- Only one sponsor is allowed per vehicle
- IMAP trucks will remain the current yellow, or may be painted white at no cost to NCDOT
- NCDOT’s logo will be on all IMAP vehicles as well as uniforms
- The sponsor may add their logo to the uniforms, hats and trucks. They also may provide new uniforms in a different color
- Any changes to the trucks or uniforms must be consistent for each sponsor
- Travelers Marketing is responsible for securing sponsors
“The Board looks forward to working with the private sector on additional cost-sharing opportunities,” Board Chair Ned Curran said. “With our transportation needs far outweighing our available funding, it is increasingly important for us to partner with private companies to help offset the cost of providing these services.”
The department has a similar agreement for litter removal, called Sponsor-a-Highway. Due to the success of the initial phases of that agreement, the program is now being expanded statewide. Under the new legislation, NCDOT can also pursue sponsorships for other operations, including rest areas, ferry system, highway beautification, smartphone applications and weigh stations.