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In New Proposal, Saigon Wants to Impose Fee on Cars Entering Downtown

The transport department's latest effort to alleviate pollution and encourage public transit usage comes with a US$10.8 million price tag.

According to Tuoi Tre, transport authorities recently proposed constructing 34 electronic tollgates in congestion-prone areas in Districts 1 and 3 and areas bordering District 5 and District 10. These tollgates will charge car owners entering the city center. The municipal Department of Transportation submitted the proposal to the HCMC People's Committee on July 17. If approved, the project is expected to be finished in 2021.

Specifically, the area in which the tollgates are located will be bounded by Hoang Sa Street in the north; the intersection between Nguyen Phuc Nguyen and Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, 3/2 Street, Le Hong Phong Street, Ly Thai To Street and Nguyen Van Cu Street in the west; Vo Van Kiet Street in the south; and Ton Duc Thang Street in the east.

The project was drafted based on an old solution proposed by the Innovative Technology Development Corporation (ITD) in 2010, which would cost approximately US$64,8 million. ITD's proposal involves investing in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and automatic number-plate recognition technology, which requires installing chips on cars and developing a networked system for these technologies. The solution was approved in 2010 but then scrapped because of public backlash.

In the new proposal, the project's budget is significantly lower because the chips will be installed without cost by the VETC Company, and the project's nature changed from a public-private partnership arrangement to public investment. It's still unclear how much car owners will be charged and what types of vehicles will have to pay the toll fees under the new proposal.  

[Photo via TinTM]

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