Automatic toll system delayed

Update: July, 11/2016 - 09:00
A toll plaza on Hạc Trì bridge connecting northern provinces of Vĩnh Phúc and Phú Thọ has six lanes. An electronic toll collection system will be applied at the station. - VNA/VNS Photo Trung Kiên
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Transport Ministry’s plan to install electronic toll collection (ETC) systems on national highways by July 1 has failed to meet the deadline due to several difficulties.

Early this year, Deputy Minister Nguyễn Hồng Trường ordered the installation of ETCs on National Highway No. 1, Highway No. 14 and other expressways by July 1 in order to reduce travelling time for drivers and employment costs for the State.

To use the system, vehicle owners will be issued an e-tag. Drivers can then transfer the toll by internet banking or at payment points.

Nguyễn Hữu Trí, deputy director of the Việt Nam Register, said only 2,000 e-tags have been issued so far.

"Many vehicle owners think they don’t need the e-tags as ETC systems have not been installed at many toll stations," Trí said.

Deputy Minister Trường blamed slow implementation of ETCs on legal difficulties stemming from the fact that ETC investors and operators are still waiting for investment certificates to be issued by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The Ministry is expected to issue the certificates for the VETC Việt Nam Joint Stock Company and TASCO Joint Stock Company no later than July 10. After that, the Transport Ministry will order the implementation of other procedures to put into operation ETC systems at 28 toll booths nationwide.

Under instructions from the Transport Ministry, each toll booth in Việt Nam must have at least one ETC gate within this year. By 2020, all toll booths nationwide must apply ETC systems.

The total investment and capital of the ETC project is VNĐ1.524 trillion (US$67.7 million) under a build-own-operate (BOO) format.

ETC systems use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, a wireless system comprising two components of e-tags and readers.

When a vehicle passes a toll collection lane, the RFID system activates a camera that snaps the vehicle’s number plate.

ETCs can save a lot of time for drivers and curb congestion as drivers will no longer have to stop and pay fees manually.

Experts estimated that ETCs at 100 stations will replace workers and save about VNĐ70 billion ($3.1 million), as well as VNĐ233 billion ($10.3 million) in fuel consumption. -VNS