General News - Monday December 17, 2007
TRANSPORT AUTOMATED TOLL MACHINES
Tollways set to go high-tech next year
The Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority (ETA) plans to install automatic toll collectors at expressway entrances within the next year. Tenders for the contract will be called next month, ETA governor Pachoen Pairotesak said. The estimated cost has been put at 380 million baht. One machine would replace two staffed toll booths at each expressway entrance.
Mr Pachoen said the initial charge will be 23 baht and and then one baht per half a kilometre of the actual distance travelled, up to a maximum charge of 45 baht.
The machines will be installed on the 27km first-stage expressway linking Dao Khanong, Tha Rua and Bang Na, and the 38km second-stage expressway between Ratchadaphisek, Rama IX and Chang Wattana roads.
The machines will also be available on the Rarm Intra-At Narong, Bang Na-Chon Buri and Bang Pa-in-Pak Kret expressways.
Seven companies have expressed interest in bidding for the project, Mr Pachoen said.
He expected the contract to be awarded no later than February.
He said installation of the machines would not mean workforce redundancies as the toll booth staff would be moved to offices elsewhere.
The ETA currently employs 1,800 toll collectors.
Mr Pachoen said the management had already explained the reasons for installing the machines to the labour union.
The ETA would still recruit new toll staff because of the high employee turn-over. Many staff work as toll collectors while looking for other jobs.