Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể has set the target of installing e-tags on 3.2 million motorised vehicles by the end of this year to enable electronic toll collection (ETC) at Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) stations in the following year.
It follows the Prime Minister’s instruction dated February 28, 2018, on speeding up the implementation of the ETC system.
The application of the ETC system at BOT toll stations nationwide by 2019 will help vehicle owners save time, energy and machine depreciation as they do not have to stop at the toll booths. It also enhances the transparency in Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects. However, it is not easy to realise the ministry’s roadmap.
Despite the fact that the ETC system was launched in Việt Nam in 2016, only 17 stations have so far been equipped with the new technology and put in use on National Highway 1 and Hồ Chí Minh Highway. In addition, the number of people who use the technology were few.
For example, every day, BOT Hoàng Mai toll station in the central province of Nghệ An collects about VNĐ890 million (US$39,000) but the toll collection through ETC system is about VNĐ60 million ($2,630), accounting for only 7 per cent of the total sum.
It is estimated that e-tags have been stuck on more than 400,000 vehicles across the country.
According to the Ministry of Transport, there were some reasons for the delay in application of ETC nationwide.
A number of investors under the BOT model do not want to install ETC for the fear of the lack of transparency in selecting electronic toll collection service providers.
Surveys conducted at a vehicle registration station showed that many vehicle owners were unaware about the service.
Phan Đức, director of a vehicle register station in Hải Phòng City, told Lao động (Labour) newspaper that most vehicle owners did not pay attention to it. Some even refuse e-tags installation although it is free.
Lê Tiến Khánh, chairman of Phú Thọ Automobile Association, blamed the low progress of ETC deployment on the fact that the system did not work at all stations and since there was so little information about it, drivers still use tickets.
Once the system was implemented at all stations, drivers would comply with it, he said.
In order to fulfil the designed roadmap, the Ministry of Transport said it would ask BOT toll stations to install ETC on all lanes instead of one or two lanes as currently.
The ministry would work with automobile producers and distributors as well as relevant agencies to ensure that e-tags would be stuck on all vehicles. In addition, a dissemination campaign would be launched to convince people to use the service.
The ministry said it was hastening procedures to ensure there would be more electronic toll collection service providers in the coming months.
Earlier, at meetings between BOT and ETC investors, some BOT investors said that they supported the initiative on the application of ETC but they refused to sign a contract with VETC joint stock company which has been assigned the task of developing and launching the ETC system because it was the only company providing the service and the fee charged was too high. —VNS