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New toll collection device to be free: transportation minister

2012/04/25 22:12:13

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) A new electronic toll collection (ETC) device called eTag will be activated in May, and free installation will be offered to vehicle owners who apply for the onboard device before the end of the year, Transportation and Communications Minister Mao Chi-kuo said Wednesday.

Mao made the remarks when he gave a report on the nation's ETC system to the Legislature's Transportation Committee.

Taiwan introduced the ETC system in February 2006, but only about 1.3 million car owners have applied to install the onboard system, a much lower number than expected mainly because they are required to pay an installation fee.

Legislator Chen Ken-te of the ruling Kuomintang suggested that if the ministry wants to encourage more people to install the new device, it should not only offer free installation, but should also give 20 percent discount on tolls for at least one month.

Mao promised that if vehicle owners install eTag before the end of the year, they would be eligible for toll discounts for more than a month.

He said installation of the new device will be free until the end of the year and its warranty period will be three years.

When the national freeways start toll collection based on mileage instead of number of passes next year, the cost of the eTag units will be set at NT$200 each (US$6.78), Mao said. (Wang Shu-feng and Lilian Wu)

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