City considers cut in expressway toll rates
HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Transport wants the municipal People's Committee to take up the issue of reducing toll fees on the 40km Trung Luong Expressway with the Ministry of Transport to ease traffic on National Highway 1A.
According to the department, many vehicles, especially container trucks, have switched to using Highway1A after the expressway began collecting a stiff toll three months ago.
The number of vehicles travelling on the expressway has dropped from 28,284 to 18,839 vehicles per day since it started collecting tolls in February, causing the highway to be seriously overloaded, and more accident to occur on the road.
In the first four months, nine traffic accidents occurred on National Road 1A, killing 11 people and injuring two.
The department said though it had limited the top speed to 40km per hour on the highway and expanded the two-wheeler lane, the number of accidents is rising.
Earlier the HCM City Cargo Transport Association had petitioned the Prime Minister and Ministries of Transport and Finance to reduce the toll on the Trung Luong Expressway.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong has asked the Department of Finance to send to his ministry a draft on reducing the toll by 25 – 30 per cent for container trucks of over 10 tonnes and 40 feet.
But the Cuu Long Corporation for Management, Investment and Development of Traffic Infrastructure, the expressway operator, said it had not heard anything about reducing the toll.
According to the HCM City Cargo Transport Association, the current toll of VND8,000 per kilometre for 18-tonne and 40-foot trucks is too high as transporters have to pay about VND640,000 for a two-way trip on the expressway, leaving only a small profit margin. — VNS