Sat, Jan 18, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Government should run freeway e-toll collection: TSU

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday asked the government to annul the eTag contract with Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co (FETC) and to run the freeway electronic toll collection system itself.

The eTag freeway system replaced toll booths at the end of last year by using dashboard-mounted tags that are scanned when each car travels along the freeway.

It is run by the Far Eastern Group under a build, operate and transfer (BOT) model. Far Eastern’s contract runs through 2025.

TSU Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) said at a press conference that the government had been “kidnapped” by the Far Eastern Group and its subsidiary FETC, adding that as the national freeway system belongs to the public, members of the public can say no to the FETC.

Lin called on drivers who have installed the eTags to uninstall them and for drivers who have not yet installed the eTags not to start.

The eTag system was hastily implemented, and did not obtain an internationally approved certification nor did it undergo a comprehensive examination, he said.

During the press conference, Lin canceled his eTag online in front of the press before walking to his car to tear up his eTag sticker.

The new distance-based toll system took effect on Jan. 2, and a spate of complaints over overcharging for tolls has since surfaced.

Several eTag users said they were charged twice on the same section of highway, while others complained of being charged for travel on sections of the highway they did not use.

Some dissatisfied motorists threatened to dump the eTag sticker.

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