The Voice of Russia reports that the first stage of the Western High Speed Diameter Toll Road is being opened for tolled traffic, and will be St. Petersburg’s first toll road. Tolls will vary by type of vehicle, and time of day suggesting a congestion element to the toll, given it is essentially an urban orbital. More details on the road are on the project website. Once complete in 2015, it will be over 46km long, mostly 4 lanes in each direction at a cost of US$7.6 billion. Although it is currently under construction, its concessionaire will be chosen in July.
According to the St Peterburg Times Basic toll rates for all toll roads in St. Petersburg have been set by the council, as being between US$2.94 for cars and US$13.35 for heavy trucks, with distance based charges of between US$0.32 per km for cars and US$1.47 per km for heavy trucks. These will be the maximum allowed for the concessionaire, which will be able to vary the prices below that on different days and at different times according to congestion.
Russia has been embarking on a massive motorway building programme in recent years, and tolls have become one way of making money from this. It is hardly surprising that Russia has figured out the value capitalism can bring to the highways sector.