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Taiwan set to launch world's first fully electronic toll system
Central News Agency
2013-12-09 04:04 PM
Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) The Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau on Monday announced the rates for the country's new toll collection system that will be launched by end of this year. Under the new system, freeway tolls will be calculated on the distance traveled, with small vehicles charged NT$1.2 per kilometer after the first 20 kilometers per day and NT$0.9 per kilometer after 200 kilometers, the bureau said. For the approximately 5.2 million vehicles equipped with the digital eTag sticker that logs their freeway travel, a 10 percent toll discount will remain in place, according to the bureau. The country's existing 23 manual toll stations will be closed and the new fully electronic system will take effect sometime after a test report is completed on Dec. 18, the bureau said, but did not give an exact date. Taiwan is the first country in the world to convert to a fully electronic distance-based freeway toll collection system, according to bureau officials. While there are some 40 countries that have adopted distance-based toll collection, none of them have completely phased out the manual collection system, the officials said. Experts from Japan, South Korea and China have visited Taiwan to learn about its new regulations, and have said they are impressed with the new toll system and the fact that it has over 60 percent public support, the bureau said. With the implementation of the new system, two-thirds of motorists can expect to pay about the same or less in freeway tolls, the bureau said. Previously, the toll for small vehicles was NT$40 (US$1.35) every time they passed though the tollbooths on National Freeways No. 1 and No. 3. The annual revenue from toll collection is expected to drop from NT$22 billion to NT$18.5 billion when the new system takes effect, according to the bureau. It said the system will be reviewed two years after implementation to see if the toll rate should increased. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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