Ministry urges acceleration of electronic non-stop toll collection booths

SGGP
Until now, the progress of electronic non-stop electronic toll fee project is far behind schedule according to the government’s direction. Therefore, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) urged acceleration of the project at a yesterday forum between ministry leaders and related agencies to analyze the cause of slow progress.

Ministry urges acceleration of electronic non-stop toll collection booths

Chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association Nguyen Van Quyen said that transportation firms have been facing difficulties; therefore, if they are forced to pay fee in advance, they have no choice but take out a loan which will be a big sum for a transportation firms with many vehicles.
Respectively, a business trip from a southern province to the northern province of Lang Son will cost tens of millions of Vietnam dong. Consequently, a bug firm with hundreds of vehicles will pay up to tens of billions of monthly. The Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association hence proposed two ways of payments including prepayment and payment later.
For payment later, two parties will sign a contract including bank accounts. When a vehicle of the contracted transportation firm pass through the toll collection booth, employees of toll collection booths will stick and later, the transportation firm will settle their account later; therefore, transportation firms can calculate their monthly spending.
Agreeing with Chairman Quyen’s proposal, Chairman of Hanoi Taxi Association Nguyen Cong Hung analyzed that a taxi firm has around 2,000 vehicles; if they prepay VND500,000 for a vehicle, they must take out a bank loan of VND10 billion (US$ 429,817), which will be a financial burden.
A representative of automatic non-stop toll collection said that there will be two options. As per its roads map, prestigious transportation firms will be allowed to pay later. However, to avoid too slow payment leading to BOT (build-operate-transfer) investors’ bad debts, state competent agencies will have sanction on transportation firms which pay too late or intentionally evade debt.
According to the MoT, the automatic toll project aims to improve traffic flow, modernize infrastructure, ensure traffic safety and enhance transparency of toll collection activities
According to the Ministry, the first phase of the automatic non-stop electronic toll fee project has been basically completed with 40 booths. Apart from that, the State-owned Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC)’s projects have been facing barriers because of capital shortage. For the second phase, the Ministry is waiting for the Prime Minister’s decision to amend some toll project-related regulations.
The ministry said the number of vehicles using e-tags which allow free flow through ETC toll booths remained too low ( just roughly 800,000 e-tags out of 3.5 million vehicles) because the use of e-tags is not mandatory as per present regulation. Drivers and owners of transportation companies realized that using e-tag is not effective because many toll booths have no automatic collection lane plus, several toll booths have both ETC system-integrated lane and cash-collecting lane for vehicles which do not use e-tags.
A representative of the Ministry said that regulations will be amended forcing drivers to use e-tags at registration centers. Presently, toll booths have automatic collection lanes; therefore, drivers without e-tag who intentionally go into automatic collection lanes causing traffic congestion will receive fine of VND1.2 million.
For those who go into non-stop fee collection lane are being reminded but later they will also receive fine.
Currently, e-tag will be conducted free-of –charge but state competent agencies will collect fee according to the regulation later.
Nguyen Viet Huy from the Ministry said that electronic non-stop electronic toll fee project is an important one; therefore, the Ministry will convene a conference to remove barriers for acceleration of the project. Now, electronic non-stop electronic toll fee booths in gates and big stations are top priorities especially toll booth station on Phap Van - Cau Gie Highway and Cau Gie - Ninh Binh Highway must be completed in May and Hanoi-Hai Phong station must be finished in June. The remaining station must be operated in the second phase in this year.

By Bich Quyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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