The Ministry of Transportation and Communications last night announced that it may appeal the Taiwan Administrative Court's decision on the operation of the new electronic toll collection (ETC) system for the nation's freeways.
The court issued a verdict on Friday saying that the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau made the wrong decision when it chose Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co (
If appeals fail, Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co may be asked to abandon its contract with the ministry to install the nation's first ETC system, and the ministry would have to launch a new bidding process for the project.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi (
If appeals fail, "the rights of car users who already installed OBUs will be our priority," she said. She added that if the government loses its appeal, it will consider managing the system itself.
The Consumers' Foundation said yesterday that the government should give up any further appeals to the Supreme Court and halt the project. Cheng Jen-hung (
"The verdict from the administrative court gives the government the chance to redeem itself," Cheng said. "The freeway bureau should forgo any further appeal and redesign the ETC system."
Far Eastern chairman Douglas Hsu (
Hsu said that the company will leave open the option of negotiating a new contract with the government.
Meanwhile, legislators yesterday urged the government to nationalize the ETC system. People First Party (PFP) Legislators Liu Wen-hsiung (
"[The ministry] should ask Far Eastern Co. to suspend its installation of the ETC system and the government should take over the construction," Liu said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Yeh Yi-jin (
Yeh said the government should investigate the bidding process for the project and punish officials who are in charge of government policy on the project.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (
"The Legislature should bear the responsibility to investigate the ETC bid in connection with collusion between government and businesses," she said.
Also see story:
Ruling on ETC dispute leaves motorists hanging