The highest toll of VND320,000 charged for each truck weighing over 18 tons and 40-feet container that travels the entire length of the expressway may have discouraged drivers of such vehicles.
Most of the vehicles traveling on the expressway last Saturday were vehicles of under 12 seats and light trucks. Meanwhile, as seen at the intersection leading to National Highway 1A and the intersection between the highway and Nguyen Van Linh Street, heavy trucks and containers chose to go straight on the highway rather than turning to the expressway as before.
A driver named Tran Hai Dang deemed the toll fee of up to VND320,000 too high, while container cannot go fast, so he decided not to travel on the expressway.
Tran Hue Ninh, director of the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway management center, admitted the number of vehicles traveling on the expressway declined on the first toll collection day. Previously, the expressway saw some 30,000 vehicles of all kinds passing every day.
Regarding this situation, Duong Tuan Minh, general director of Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure, said the Government had approved for the project owner to develop another toll station on the National Highway 1A section in Long An Province to assist toll collection of HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway and regulate traffic flow between the expressway and National Highway 1A.
Under the toll collection process, vehicles when entering the expressway must stop at the toll stations to receive a card served as tickets, which will be later submitted before drivers leave the expressway for calculating the toll fees based on the length of travel.
The Daily’s observation at Cho Dem Toll Station in Binh Chanh District, HCMC last Saturday showed that many drivers did not know how to press the button to get the cards. Many drivers found it difficult without a particular instruction board.
As initially planned, it will take 3-5 seconds for a driver to get the card, but in fact some 7-10 seconds is needed. Since multiple drivers are unaccustomed to the closed process of toll collection, minor congestion was recorded on the first day of HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway toll collection. SGT