National freeway toll collection scheme to be announced today
By Kathryn Chiu ,The China PostThe new national freeway toll to be enforced later this year will be based on a per-kilometer system, collecting NT$1.2 for each kilometer traveled after the first 20 kilometers, according to local media reports.
October 3, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
Rather than just charging drivers when they pass through toll booths, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) today will announce plans to collect freeway tolls based on kilometers traveled.
The MOTC's new plan calls for NT$1.2 per kilometer with the first 20 kilometers free. After traveling more than 200 kilometers the fee drops to NT$0.9.
The total charges for a trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung on National Freeway No. 1 or Zhonghe to Yian-Chao on National Freeway No. 3 would amount to NT$381 under the new system, an increase of NT$21.
The biggest change, however, is that freeway tolls will be discounted during nighttime hours. Discount rates may be set at 70 percent, 50 percent, 40 percent and 20 percent, but the final version will be decided before the new plan goes into force, the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau under MOTC told the United Evening News.
However, the bureau said it would revert to pricing on peak and off-peak periods for the 2014 Lunar New Year vacation.
Although the new kilometer-based system has caused discontent among the long-distance transport industry, the bureau guaranteed that new dark-hour discounts — whether 70 percent, 50 percent, 40 percent or 20 percent — will be cheaper than current toll collection plan.
In fact, 40-percent discounts during nighttime will make long-distance transportation fees cheaper, the United Evening News said after doing some number-crunching.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Yen Kuang-shih recently stressed that long-distance transportation charges on national freeways should not be higher than current rates, demanding the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau to review and map out new plans.