Thu, Jan 18, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Legislators request MOTC suspend toll system review

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislators serving on the Trans-portation Committee passed a resolution yesterday that asked the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) to immediately suspend the second round of reviews for the highway electronic toll collection system.

The resolution also stated that since the Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co was entangled in the lawsuits over alleged bribery and forgery, the government should take over the operation after the legal disputes were settled.

Moreover, the resolution would require the ministry to brief the committee members first before signing contracts with any company.

The resolution was made at the Transportation Committee meeting yesterday where minister Tsai Duei (蔡堆) was scheduled to report the progress of the second round of reviews for the electronic toll system.

People First Party Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said in the question and answer session that the MOTC's bidding requirements have created a favorable situation for Far Eastern.

Specifically, the requirements stated that the service charge per transaction will not be evaluated at this time.

The company is also exempt from committing to a specific deadline to establish a vehicle positioning system because such a system is incompatible with the infrared system Far Eastern uses now.

The ministry reopened the second round of the review process last year after the Supreme Administrative Court ruled the original second round had not been conducted properly.

The two participants in the second round -- Far Eastern and Yu Tung Technology -- were invited to renegotiate with the MOTC. Both were required to submit their operating plans in advance before negotiating with the MOTC would begin again.

While Far Eastern submitted its plan by the deadline, Yu Tung failed to do so.

Yu Tung general manager Chang Kung-pu (張公濮) indicated last year that the conditions set by the Executive Yuan to solve the freeway electronic toll system's problems -- namely that treasury losses be minimized and that motorist interests be protected -- were created to favor Far Eastern.

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