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68% of drivers favor adjusting daily free 20 kilometers: NFB

About 68.1 percent of road users said they would be in favor of an adjustment to the 20 free kilometers allotted for each vehicle each day in order to receive lower freeway toll rates, the National Freeway Bureau (NFB) announced yesterday.

According to the NFB, the new freeway toll system was launched last December, and the NFB conducted a survey this June as a reference to the future adjustment of the freeway toll system that is based on the distance that a driver travels.

Among all 2,199 freeway users who participated the survey, the NFB said that 29.7 percent of them support the idea of reducing the free miles allotted in order to have lower freeway toll rates, while 38.4 percent of them would support the cancellation of the 20 free kilometers in order to receive lower freeway toll rates.

The NFB said that the survey suggested about 68.1 percent of the freeway users support adjusting the current free mileage policy in order to have lower freeway toll rates.

Based on the survey, the NFB said that only 12.1 percent of those surveyed requested across-the-board reductions in freeway tolls, while at the same time supporting the charging of drivers who travel on freeways running from east to west.

The NFB said that the officials will review the freeway toll rates next year to decide whether or not the freeway toll policies should be adjusted.

Based on the current freeway toll system, drivers of small vehicles are charged NT$1.2 per kilometer to use the island's freeways, with each car allotted 20 free kilometers per day, the NFB said. However, if small-vehicle drivers exceed 200 kilometers within one day, fees will drop to NT$0.9 per kilometer.

Meanwhile, the deadline that the NFB gave Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection (FETC) to place all former freeway toll collectors in new jobs is this Thursday, and the NFB will announce whether the FETC is in breach of contract.

However, even if the firm is seen as being in breach of contract by the end of July, the NFB will still offer a second grace period, all in accordance with the contract. The bureau said that should the FETC fail to improve the situation by the second grace period's deadline, the bureau will fine the firm NT$500,000 every day until the NFB's demands are met.

According to the FETC, at the end of June, it sent over 200 letters to former toll collectors introducing job opportunities to them.

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