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Postpaidelectronic toll collection: Very reasonable but slow

09:42 | 03/06/2020

VCN- At the request of the Government, electronic toll collection will be completed by 2020onall roads. Although there were 800,000 vehicles stuck with the non-stop automatic toll collection card (ETAG), but very few cars used it. The transport company wants this fee to be paid later; the Ministry of Transport also said this solution is reasonable but very difficult to implement; and businesses charge that it should be slowly.

postpaidelectronic toll collection very reasonable but slow Automatic non-stop toll collection: Need to change people's habits
postpaidelectronic toll collection very reasonable but slow
For North-South long-distance transport means, transportation costs, excluding maintenance fees, account for 10-12% of revenue, this cost ranks secondonly after fuel costs. Source: Internet.

Proposal has more form of payment

According to Nguyen Van Quyen, Chairman of Vietnam Automobile Transport Association, in recent years, transport enterprises have benvery interested in non-stop toll collection. The Ministry of Transport has implemented many solutions and learned technologies from advanced countries to apply in Vietnam, but so far has not reached required progress. Despite the extension, unknown exactly when this goal will be completed.

In fact, the non-stop charging solution is very progressive andmany countries have applied it effectively because it saves a lot of time. The question is whyisthis model so useful but slow to deploy?

"Regulators seem to be abusing administrative solutions and focusing more on technology issues without being concerned about the market. BOT investors should sell services and logistics operators." The service provider should only be the unit that helps the seller to sell the best service with the most transparency, to research the market to see what people need. This issue in recent years does not seem to be paid enough attention to,"Quyen said. According to the chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Transport Association, so far, there have been more than 800,000 vehicles of businesses andpeople have tagged ETAG but not used. From a market perspective, sellers should offer some user choice rather than just giving one and forcing users. Experience in South Korea shows investors should invest, assign another unit to collect fees, onewinning bidder nationwide and the fees be collected publicly and transparently, after deducting expenses. The fees should be transferred to the investor. The charge is only assigned to one enterprise but it is competitive because there is bidding."

Agreeing with Quyen, Nguyen Cong Hung, Chairman of Hanoi Taxi Association, said theHanoi Taxi Association currently has about 20,000 vehicles in operation. The first inadequacy is the capital managed by the business itself. For example, each taxi business has 2,000 vehicles, each account needs to deposit about 500,000 VND, and they had to "detain" 1 billion VND in the bank. Businesses have to borrow this money and pay interest but still have to top up for drivers to comply with regulations. In addition, all businesses now pay drivers money viaaccounts. The question is why not takeadvantage of the driver's own account to connect to the non-stop toll account? In addition, there is also the concern that the ETAG card is affixed in a position that is prone to peeling due to the erratic weather andrainy firms while each time it costs 120,000 VND. This is also a concern for transport enterprises.

According to Hung, experience from implementing Decree 100/2019/ND-CP shows propaganda contributes to effective policy implementation. However, more importantly there is a need to open up solutions to create quick convenience, so users of transportation businesses will share and respond.

Not able to change now?

Quyen said road fees are nowsignificant costs in road transport. For North-South long-distance transport, transportation costs, excluding maintenance fees, account for 10-12% of revenue, this cost ranks second only after fuel costs. Amid very difficult transportation business units, investment in the procurement of vehicles and pressure on bank loan interest, if we only use one method as currently, road users must transfer money in advance, which means transport businesses have to borrow money. For many car businesses, this is a lot of money. A ride from the south to Lang Son, if the car is large, takes tens of millions, with businesses with hundreds of cars, the amount of money for road costs in a month can reach billions.

“We suggest studying two methods: Prepay as you do and pay later. Postpaid, there is a form of signing a contract, announcing the account, passing the car, then checking and the transport business will pay. In this way, the transport firmhas paperwork to account for input costs, as currently it cannot account,”Quyensaid.

Commenting on this issue, Ho TrongVinh, Deputy General Director of VETC said that the Ministry of Transport has a roadmap with fourstages. The current stage of implementation is the early stage with barriers, having a balance. But the dream stage is stage 4, there is no charge - there areno barriers andthe cars go over and pay later. Regarding measures to promote non-stop toll collection, cash usage habits cannot be changed immediately, but gradually. In addition, when deploying electronic toll collection lanes (ETC), many customers commented the car has an ETAG card, but when getting into the ETC lane, there are problems with vehicles not using the ETAG card that is paying. Therefore, there should be a regulation to prevent vehicles from sticking with ETAG cards so customers can clearly see the benefits of using ETAG cards are not congested.

By XuanThao/ HuuTuc