|The Cần Thơ – Phụng Hiệp BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) toll station. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Sang|
CẦN THƠ — The Cần Thơ – Phụng Hiệp BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) toll station in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ became the latest toll station in the country to slash fees after drivers’ complaints.
The new fees took effect yesterday following a direction from the Ministry of Transport earlier this month.
The new fees are lower than the old ones by 7 to 15 per cent, with the lowest being VNĐ30,000 (US$1.30) and the highest being VNĐ180,000.
Vehicles belonging to permanent residents, organisations or enterprises in neighbouring areas, including Ba Láng Ward of Cần Thơ City and Tân Phú Thạnh Commune of Hậu Giang Province, enjoy larger reductions.
Buses get a 100 per cent reduction while other types of vehicles get their tolls cut by 30-35 per cent compared to the new fees applied to vehicles in general.
The Cần Thơ – Phụng Hiệp BOT toll station went into operation in April last year with fees ranging from VNĐ35,000 – 200,000. The toll was set up to pay for a project to widen National Highway 1 at the 22km-long Cần Thơ-Phụng Hiệp section, which cost more than VNĐ1.8 trillion.
Drivers complained that the fees at the station were too high. Many of them drove on smaller local roads to avoid paying fees, leading to their degradation.
Local people who travel the road every day, argue that they have to pay the fees for the whole route while their vehicles only run a short distance.
Removal of toll station
In HCM City, the People’s Committee on Wednesday approved the Department of Transport’s proposal to remove the long-defunct Thủ Thiêm toll station to reduce traffic congestion at the Thủ Thiêm tunnel under Sài Gòn River.
Traffic jams at both entrances of the tunnel have become a daily occurrence due to a huge surge of commuters travelling from District 2 to the city’s downtown every day.
Reports by the city Department of Transport shows about 45,000 cars and 230,000 motorbikes travel through the tunnel every day.
However, since its completion in 2011, it was only used for collecting fees for a one-month trial. Competent authorities explained that since the birth of the Road Maintenance Fund in 2013, the cost for reparation and maintenance of the tunnel have been borne by the fund so fee collection became void.
In recent days, tunnel and traffic police have been using various measures to reduce congestion, including car bans in certain hours, opening new lanes for motorbikes during rush hours or adjusting traffic light timers at nearby intersections. — VNS