Drivers without eTag can still reap 10% toll discount

By Joy Lee ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) head Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) yesterday promised that motorists who do not have an eTag electronic toll collection system installed in their vehicles can still receive a 10 percent discount on freeway fees if the payment is made on time.

The Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee cancelled the National Freeway Bureau’s (NFB) policy to provide a 10 percent discount on freeway fees for eTag users and a five percent discount for non-eTag users last Thursday due to the unfairness the policy could bring to motorists.

The discount cancellation, however, has triggered complaints from people and some of them even called legislators’ offices to express their anger, according to local reports.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), who proposed the cancellation of the discounts last week, came forward again yesterday with a plan to allow all motorists to enjoy the same discounts on freeway fees as long as they make payments on time.

Yeh said that after the new freeway toll system is launched, all drivers can enjoy 10 percent off on freeway fees if the payments are made within three days after being charged.

“The NFB’s original policy was meant to encourage more drivers to install the eTag system,” Yeh said. “But if people question the motive of this policy, the bureau will consider applying the discount to all motorists.”

The NFB said, however, that the new freeway toll system is under inspection now, and if the policy is changed to apply discounts to all motorists, it might delay the launch time of the new freeway toll system because the bureau will have to change the settings of the system’s program.

THSR to Evaluate Expending Discount Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) yesterday said that offering discounts to more passengers will be listed for discussion during their upcoming extraordinary board meeting.

THSR ticket prices are scheduled to be increased on Oct. 8, raising the cost of a round-trip ticket from Taipei to Kaohsiung by up to NT$280. Many legislators and the public oppose the THSR’s decision to raise ticket prices.

Yeh yesterday said that based on the contract between the THSR and the transportation ministry, it is the firm’s right to adjust ticket prices. Yeh said, however, that as the head of the Transportation ministry, he still hoped the company can propose discount policies that can satisfy more passengers.

The THSR said that the company understands the expectations of the public, so the board members will evaluate the possibility of offering discounts to more passengers.