Thu, Mar 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Bureau denies end to freeway’s toll-free weekend plan

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Freeway Bureau yesterday denied that it plans to cancel a 20km toll-free scheme for motorists driving on freeways on non-holiday weekends.

Freeway users who drive less than 20km per day on weekdays and non-holiday weekends are exempt from paying tolls. The policy does not apply to long holiday weekends.

However, the scheme is suspended over the Lunar New Year holiday and long weekends as part of measures to ease traffic congestion on freeways.

All freeway users are charged a flat rate of NT$0.9 per kilometer when driving on freeways during major national holidays.

The bureau changed the toll-free scheme during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday last year.

The flat rate was charged yesterday for the 228 Memorial Day holiday and will also be implemented on Double Ten National Day this year, the bureau said.

On weekdays and regular weekends, freeway users pay NT$1.2 per kilometer for distances between 20km and 200km. The rate drops to NT$0.9 per kilometer for distances of more than 200km.

However, local media yesterday reported that the bureau is evaluating the possibility of canceling the toll-free scheme on non-holiday weekends and imposing flat rates.

Results of the evaluation would be delivered by the end of this year or early next year, reports said.

If the flat rate were imposed on regular weekends, people driving less than 80km would pay more fees than they do now. Tolls for medium and long-distance travelers would be less.

Freeway Bureau Director-General Chao Hsing-hua (趙興華) denied the plans to cancel the toll-free scheme on the non-holiday weekends.

“Some experts have said that the 20km toll-free scheme should not apply to regular weekends. However, we think that it requires long-term observation and statistical analysis before any changes are made,” Chao said.

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