Friday, 4 April 2014

Taiwan moves to fully electronic tolling

ITS International reported in November 2013 that all 900km of Taiwan's toll highway network were to be converted to fully electronic operation by March 2014.  It actually happened on 2 January 2014.  It said:

The roads, which include three north-south routes with 22 toll points, carry out around 1.7 million transactions a day, generating some US$700 million of annual toll revenue.

Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection is the company commissioned with operating the system.  According to the report, FEETC choose ISO 18000 6C sticker tags to be implemented, on cost grounds, and had achieved 85% takeup by November 2013.  The system is meant to be backed up by ANPR cameras to identify and charge vehicles without tag accounts.  Given Taiwan is an island, there is no issue of cross border traffic.  I had reported over three years ago that tolling tags were to be compulsory from 2012, but it appears the island has moved away from that for the implementation of fully electronic tolling.

Taiwan's tolled "freeway" network
Taiwan's toll system is based on distance, so vehicles are charged based on entrance and exit points onto the system.   The first 20km any vehicle travels every day is untolled, beyond that cars are charged at a rate of NT$1.2 (US$0.04) per km up to 200km, followed by NT$0.9 (US$0.03) per km for any after that on a calendar day.   Accounts are prepaid and need to remain topped up, otherwise bills are sent by mail to registered vehicle owners at a higher cost.  

Strictly speaking, Taiwan isn't a country (I wont fill this blog with the history of the Republic of China), so I wont say this is the first country in the world to have a fully electronic tolling network for all vehicles on its major highways.  However, that's the only reason why I wont say it.

Getting up to date information on how the Taiwanese system is going is difficult in English, so if anyone has reliable information about the Taiwanese system and reactions to it, they would be welcome.

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