Toll rates to increase for new expressway

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 08:13

A toll station on the Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway is located in the northern Hung Yen Province. Motorists will have to pay between 25 and 50 per cent more to pass through the route. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Vehicles passing through the newly-built Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway and the National Highway No5 will soon have to pay between 25 per cent and 50 per cent more as toll.

The new fees will be applied from early next month, the Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment JSC has said.

Dao Van Chien, chairman of the Managing Board of the company said that the increase was on the roadmap of the Ministry of Finance to serve the repair and maintenance of the National Highway No 5 and the fund payback of the Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway.

Currently, the Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway collects VND1,500 per kilometre (per km) per car. The increase will be VND2,000 per km per car, equivalent to the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway.

Replying to a question of the continuous increase of toll fees on the National Highway No 5, Chien said the route had been damaged on numerous occasions by overloaded vehicles.

In 2014, the Ministry of Transport had invested VND100 billion (US$4.5 million) for the repair work of the route, of which VND60 billion ($2.7 million) was paid by the company.

This year, the repair work on the route was estimated to be VND300 billion ($13.5 million), and the Road Directorate had only allocated VND20 billion ($900,000). Thus, the increase on fees was necessary, he said.

To help ease financial difficulties for vehicles on the National Highway No 5, Chien said the investor would discount monthly tickets for the first time. This will be the last fee hike on the route, he said.

Many transport companies said they were shocked by the new fees.

Khuc Huu Thanh Hai, director of the Dat Cang Transport Company, said the company operated 80 vehicles on the two routes. On average, it had to pay up to VND800 million ($36,000) as toll fees each month.

He said with the new rate, the company would suffer quite a large additional financial burden and would only make profit on weekends and holidays due to the small number of passengers travelling on the two routes.

He said National Highway 5 had a policy of reducing the toll by 10 per cent, if transport enterprises purchased monthly tickets, but the policy did not apply to the Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway.

The toll fee for this route was worth about eight passenger tickets, he said.

Le Van Tien, chairman of the Hai Phong Freight Transport Association, said the fee hike would cause more problems for transport enterprises.

He said the transport businesses did not plan to increase the fares as fuel prices were stable.

Bui Danh Lien, chairman of the Ha Noi Transport Association, said the BOT fee was inconsistent with the purchasing power of the people and might put financial pressure on the socio-economic life.

The Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway, the most modern of its kind in Viet Nam, passes through Ha Noi, Hung Yen, Hai Duong and Hai Phong with a total length of 105km, a width of 33m with six lanes and an intended speed of 120km per hour.

Invested by the Viet Nam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment JSC, the road is built at a total cost of nearly VND45.5 trillion ($2 billion) under the Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model.

The National Highway No 5 is the key route in northeast of Ha Noi with more than 11,000 vehicles travelling per day, and half of which are container trucks. The route has been upgraded many times, but the quality has remained low. — VNS

Comments (0)