Ministry plans to conduct ETC at BOT stations in 2019 hinh anh 1A lane for electronic toll collection at Long Phuoc Toll Station on HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Transport plans to install e-tags on 3.2 million motorised vehicles by the year-end in a bid to conduct electronic toll collection (ETC) at build-operate-transfer (BOT) stations in 2019.

The moves came following Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s instruction on speeding up the implementation of ETC systems at BOT stations across the country.

The application of the ETC system at BOT toll stations nationwide by 2019 will help vehicle owners save time, energy and machine depreciation as they do not have to stop at the toll booths. It also enhances the transparency in BOT projects. However, it is not easy to realise the ministry’s roadmap.

Despite the fact that the ETC system was launched in Vietnam in 2016, only 17 stations have so far been equipped with the new technology and put in use on National Highway 1 and Ho Chi Minh Highway. In addition, the number of people who use the technology were few.

For example, every day, BOT Hoang Mai toll station in the central province of Nghe An collects about 890 million VND (39,000 USD) but the toll collection through ETC system is about 60 million VND (2,630 USD), accounting for only 7 percent of the total sum.

It is estimated that e-tags have been stuck on more than 400,000 vehicles across the country.

According to the Ministry of Transport, there were some reasons for the delay in application of ETC nationwide.

A number of investors under the BOT model do not want to install ETC for the fear of the lack of transparency in selecting ETC service providers.

Surveys conducted at a vehicle registration station showed that many vehicle owners were unaware about the service.

Le Tien Khanh, chairman of Phu Tho Automobile Association, blamed the low progress of ETC deployment on the fact that the system did not work at all stations and since there was so little information about it, drivers still use tickets.

Once the system was implemented at all stations, drivers would comply with it, he said.

In order to fulfil the designed roadmap, the Ministry of Transport said it would ask BOT toll stations to install ETC on all lanes instead of one or two lanes as currently.

The ministry would work with automobile producers and distributors as well as relevant agencies to ensure that e-tags would be stuck on all vehicles. In addition, a dissemination campaign would be launched to convince people to use the service.

The ministry said it was hastening procedures to ensure there would be more ETC service providers in the coming months.

Earlier, at meetings between BOT and ETC investors, some BOT investors said that they supported the initiative on the application of ETC but they refused to sign a contract with VETC joint stock company which has been assigned the task of developing and launching the ETC system because it was the only company providing the service and the fee charged was too high.-VNA