Thu, Dec 19, 2013 - Page 3 News List

‘Pay as you go’ freeway toll to start on Jan. 2

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Freeway drivers are to be charged based on the rates set for the new “pay as you go” policy starting on Jan. 2, the National Freeway Bureau said yesterday.

Earlier this week, the Ministery of Transportation and Communications announced that the policy is to take effect on Dec. 30, adding that drivers are to be given a transitional period of three days to adjust to the new policy.

The transitional period would stretch from 12am on Dec. 30 to 12pm on Jan. 1, during which freeway drivers will not have to pay toll fees.

The bureau’s deputy director general Wu Mu-fu (吳木富) said the transitional period is to prevent drivers from being charged twice after the new policy takes effect.

Based on the rates announced by the bureau last week, each motor vehicle can drive 20km toll-free per day.

If the driving distance for the whole day is between 20km and 200km, a small vehicle will be charged NT$1.2 per kilometer.

A large vehicle’s driver would have to pay NT$1.5 per kilometer. A large truck’s driver is charged NT$1.8 per kilometer.

Should the driving distance exceed 200km, the rates for small vehicles, large vehicles and large trucks would be NT$0.9, NT$1.12 and NT$1.35 per kilometer respectively.

Currently, the policy only applies to drivers on the north-south freeways, including Freeway Nos. 1, 3 and 5.

Wu said that drivers with eTags — the tags needed to access the freeway electronic toll collection (ETC) system --- would enjoy a 10 percent discount on toll fees, as long as there is sufficient fund sstored in their eTag accounts.

Wu said that drivers who do not have eTags installed in their vehicles can use a pre-paid system, although they will not receive a discount.

Drivers who do not have an eTag or a prepaid account would need to calculate and pay the toll fee within three days after using the freeways, Wu said, adding that they would receive a notice for due payment if they fail to do so.

For drivers in the third category, legislators have requested that they also be given 10 percent discount as long as they make the payment within the designated period of time.

In response, Wu said that people in this category would enjoy the same discount six months after the new freeway toll fee policy takes effect, provided they pay the toll fees within five days after using the freeway.

To calculate the toll fees, drivers need to multiply the driving distance with the rate set for the type of vehicle before subtracting 20km of toll-free distance, Wu said.

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