Forum showcases new paperless toll collection technology in Taiwan
The China Post news staffThe Telecommunication & Transportation Foundation and the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE, 台灣永續能源研究基金會) joined hands recently in Taipei to host the International Green Smart Mobility Forum, gathering leading global experts from Norway, the U.S., Australia and Hong Kong to discuss the dimensions of public policy formulation and legislation, communication with the public and technical standards. The conference provided valuable insights and recommendations for the world's soon-to-be first completely electronic toll collecting transportation system on Taiwan's highways.
October 25, 2013, 12:27 am TWN
Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) and the event organizers, including TAISE Chairman Eugene Chien (簡又新) (former minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the first minister of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)), Far Eastern Group Chairman Douglas T. Hsu (徐旭東) and event cooperators British Trade And Culture Office Representative Chris Wood, Australian Office Representative Kevin Magee, and leading global and domestic experts in transportation management gathered to discuss ideas before an audience of over two hundred guests.
The organizers noted that eliminating manned toll stations marked Taiwan's adoption of green, smart transportation highway management practices, where realtime traffic management is possible. This will ensure transportation system safety, efficacy and convenience, while also reducing carbon emissions, marking a major milestone in this new era of smart transportation development.
Mao expressed the hope that as the new toll collection system emerges, human toll collectors will be replaced and complete electronic toll collection will be deployed, ensuring total integration with transportation management demands, establishing responsive fares for time and road section management, further enhancing road transport efficiency and bearing substantial green transportation results.
Hsu emphasized the environmental value of electronic toll collection (ETC), saying “the current NT$1.57 billion in ETC traffic volume represents a total savings of over 30 million liters of fuel. If one travels 10 kilometers per liter, this represents a fuel savings equivalent to 300 million kilometers, or more than 860,000 round trips between Taipei and Kaohsiung. It is also the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions by 74,000 metric tons, or the annual carbon absorption of 193 of Taipei's massive Da-an Park. Stacking the 1.57 billion round tickets is equivalent to 310 Taipei 101 structures, meaning the additional planting of a lot of green trees for Taiwan.”
This year's forum also invited the world's earliest adopter of ETC systems, Senior Adviser in Norway's Highway Bureau Morten Welde, to speak about Norway's experience. This allowed the public to appreciate the numerous advantages of how ETC enhances traffic throughput, reduces congestion, decreases the number of vehicle restarts and emissions of harmful substances, and efficiently reduces vehicle overhead costs, as well as the challenges in ETC operations.
A leading Australian ETC expert and member of the Australian government's Innovation and Venture Capital Programs, Jonathon Spring, remarked how Taiwan had completed installing the hardware for ETC operations in a very short period of time, and provided wireless e-Tags with free installation, quickly achieving efficient adoption of ETC by the authorities and the public. Compared to other advanced societies adopting the ETC incrementally, Taiwan has been able to implement total highway electronic toll collection all at once.