|Drivers will be able to top up their account through text or banking services to pay toll fees electronically at Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) booths nationwide. — Photo vietnammoi.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Drivers will be able to top up their account through text or banking services to pay toll fees electronically at Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) booths nationwide, said Nguyễn Mạnh Hà, general director of Việt Nam Electronic Toll Collection (VETC) Company.
Accounts can also be topped up at BOT booths, mechanics and authorized VETC agencies at the moment, and will be possible by debit and credit card provided by telecom firm Viettel in the future.
Any unused funds on the account will be valid for the next month or can be transferred to another vehicle.
The Government aims to apply electronic toll collection (ETC) on National Highway No.1 and the stretch of HCM National Expressway through the Central Highlands region by the end of this year and at all toll booths by next year.
Hà added that toll booths on sections of expressway leading to the gateway of Hà Nội with high volumes of traffic, such as Hà Nội - Lào Cai, Pháp Vân - Cầu Giẽ, Bắc Giang - Lạng Sơn will apply the system this year.
So far there are 25 BOT booths equipped with ETC systems nationwide, said Phan Thị Thu Hiền, deputy head of the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN).
More than 500,000 vehicles have been given electronic tags (e-tags) which are attached to the windscreen or lights, according to DRVN.
VETC will give e-tags for free for more than 2 million vehicles at registration stations and by-road stations.
A representative of DRVN said that the ETC system, replacing paper tickets, will make it easier for people and enterprises. The administration will supervise turnover of BOT investors through the system and publicise it through media outlets.
The ETC system utilises Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to identify vehicles and has been applied in Malaysia and Singapore.
Through e-tags, the system will identify the vehicle and transmit its image and information to a data centre at high speed. Confirmation of the vehicle’s information and deduction of the required amount from the account will be almost immediate, so the barrier will lift without the vehicle having to stop. Electronic devices will also be used to supervise the entire toll collection process.
Việt Nam loses VNĐ3.7 trillion (US$162.7 million) every year on paper ticket printing and traffic congestion at the manual toll collection (MTC) systems. This is based on the cost calculated at around 100 MTC stations nationwide, and paper ticket printing accounts for VNĐ100 billion ($4.4 million), or 2.7 per cent.
Hundreds of millions of đồng are also lost through wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and delayed goods transportation, considering the waiting time for vehicles at manual toll stations, not to mention the negative effects of gas emissions on the environment and the risk of traffic accidents. — VNS