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Transport firms urge reduction in road fees, toll stations

Update: December, 29/2017 - 08:00
Multiple transportation firms in HCM City have proposed reducing the number of Build – Operate – Transfer (BOT) toll stations as well as road maintenance fees by 30 per cent. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Multiple transportation firms have proposed reducing the number of Build – Operate – Transfer (BOT) toll stations as well as road maintenance fees by 30 per cent.

According to transportation firms, each of their four-wheel vehicles is charged a fixed cost for road maintenance, insurance, parking lots, and BOT toll stations, among other fees, ranging from VNĐ20 to 25 million (U$880-1,100) per month. 

The excessive amount of fees has led to more expensive services and fewer customers, they said at a meeting with the HCM City Department of Transport and Transportation Cargo Association (HTA) on Wednesday.

BOT toll stations in HCM City, Đồng Nai Province, Bình Dương Province, and Vũng Tàu City are distributed too densely, they said, adding that the average distance between each station ranges from 4.4km to 20km.

On some routes, the cost of passing through BOT stations is higher than that of fuels needed for vehicles to operate. Hence, it is necessary to reduce the number of road fees by 30 per cent, transportation firms said.

Lâm Đại Vinh, owner of a transportation firm, said: “Installation of BOT toll stations in some provinces reduced road costs for locals, but this was not seen in the five stations in HCM City.”

“It is also worth mentioning that though road fees are fully paid, transport firms haven’t received any benefit. My vehicles were stuck in traffic one time for four hours in the Mỹ Thuỷ area,” he added.

An owner of another transportation firm said that authorities had failed to provide solutions, though firms had complained multiple times.

For instance, it is unreasonable to charge a vehicle that handles 40 tonnes of goods VNĐ17 million ($750) per year for road maintenance while it only functions nine months a year, he said.

Nguyễn Văn Chánh, deputy director of HTA, agreed that transport enterprises in HCM City faced limited transport capacity, unhealthy competition, and inefficient administrative procedures.

Compared to last year, 2017 saw an increase in the number of vehicles, while that of transported goods decreased.

Specifically, the number of container trucks from 3.5 tonnes rose by 76 per cent while the amount of road freight only increased by 7.5 per cent.

Chánh said the imbalance between demand and transport capacity had created a crisis, leading to fierce competition, with many transportation firms reducing their service fee to 50 per cent or transporting overloaded cargo in an effort to retain customers and maintain operations.

About 4,270 vehicles were fined for overloading in 2017, up 9.6 per cent year-on year, with the total amount of VNĐ47 billion ($2.08 million).

The government plans to reduce the road fees after completing necessary research, according to Trần Quang Lâm, deputy director of the HCM City Transport Department. — VNS


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