Saturday, January 04, 2014

No ‘free’ way

At midnight of December 30 last year national highways saw the end of manual tolling system, which was replaced by an Electronic Toll Collection. To make ETC work, all motor vehicles are required to stick an eTag on the windshield for the scanner to record when cruising on highways. The toll, like one’s phone or utilities bill, can be paid at any convenience stores. However, ETC has ignited tons of controversies not because of how it is paid but how it is charged.

At the beginning stage of promoting electronic tolling system, authorities promised free mileage to lure car drivers’ support. Each vehicle was allotted twenty kilometers free of charge every day. When this new toll policy started, car drivers pressed local politicians asking for extending free mileage. Along with the coming of election year, the issue has become tenser.

I suggest that all drivers be charged from the first meter their vehicles enter the highway. “User pays”, fair and just! 

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