Challenges of distance-based electronic toll collection
1) Increase ETC usage rate
Since launch of electronic toll collection of flat-rate toll station on Taiwan’s freeways on February 2006, the usage rate has increased gradually because of the benefit of paying toll without fully stopping the car. However, as the users have to buy the OBU (on board unit) and there is no discounted rate for ETC users, the usage rate has reached a stagnant point after a while.
To increase ETC usage rate, Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau (TANFB) mandated the BOT Operator Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Company (FETC) to submit a total solution plan: eTags are provided to freeway users free of charge; the current OBU users are entitled to get free eTags besides receiving refunds for their OBUs.
The eTag is a new electronic toll collecting technology, using the ISO 18000-6C international standard which has been gradually used in electronic toll collecting since 2008.
Taiwan government has granted a 10 percent discount on the freeway tolls since the launch of eTag, prompting the usage rate to top 85 percent in just one and a half years, faster than any other country to reach this goal.
2) Toll rate is set based on opinion of the majority
Besides long distance travel, some part of Taiwan’s freeways is also widely used by local commuters. When switching to distance-based tolling system, some cars would take local roads instead, causing traffic congestion which might impact local administration.
To solve this problem and advance an equal tolling system, 17 public opinion polls and 10 meetings and symposiums in various cities were conducted during the planning period. Considering that the flat-rate toll system had been in effect for 40 years, in order to let the public get used to the new tolling system, the government decided to grant 20 km free of charge for each vehicle each day. Freeway users only have to pay toll for the journey exceeding 20 km. Furthermore, there’s a 25 percent discount on tolls for the journey length longer than 200km, and these all are on daily basis. The current tolling rate is set to be reexamined after 2 years in practice.
3) Building an multi-lane free flow electronic tolling system on freeway
There are two types of distance-based tolling system, one on freeway mainlane, and one on ramps. Taiwan’s system is built on mainlane of freeways, i.e. there is one gantry between any two interchanges. This system enables implement of differentiated pricing and traffic management. Technology wise, RFID readers and video recording equipment are installed on gantries which took only 9 months to build 319 of them on all Taiwan’s major freeways. This state-of-the-art technology and outstanding construction efficiency set models for other countries to learn from.
Date of Posting :2015-04-27
Source of Information:Toll&Service Div.