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Consultation on Toll Systems Project begins

15 September 2004

Consultation on Toll Systems Project begins

Transit New Zealand today announced the start of consultation on its Toll Systems Project. The Toll Systems Project aims to develop a national strategic approach to the standards that apply to the collection and processing functions of toll transactions for future toll roads throughout New Zealand.

“With the Land Transport Management Act’s provision for funding new roads through tolling, it is important that New Zealand take a long-term approach to toll collection and processing to minimise inefficiencies and potential interoperability problems,” says Rick van Barneveld, Transit CEO.

Initial work on toll system development has been done as part of the first toll road proposal under the Act – the SH1 Northern Motorway extension (ALPURT B2). In this context, Transit considered it appropriate to consider how all future toll roads could be compatible and operate in an integrated way.

Following the results of a feasibility study commissioned earlier this year, Transit is proposing a free-flow electronic toll collection system and a nationally integrated toll management system. Transit has been working closely with international advisers who have experience in developing and running toll systems.

“We wanted to assess the best option for meeting the objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy. The feasibility study reviewed a number of toll collection and management systems and concluded that electronic toll collection supported by a nationally integrated toll management system would offer the most benefits to road users,” said Mr. van Barneveld.

A key benefit of the proposal is that it will provide road users with seamless road toll experiences wherever they are in the country. A national system would also provide for economies of scale and efficiencies by avoiding the need for separate toll systems for each toll road. The system would also have the flexibility to meet new technology demands and to cope with any changes in the tolling system.

Consultation will provide an opportunity to comment on the proposal and provide feedback to Transit. If there is support for the proposal, Transit will seek funding from the National Land Transport Programme for further investigation and design of a national toll system.

The cost of the implementation phase of the Toll Systems Project is estimated to be between $15 million and $60 million, depending on the number of toll projects included in the national system, the aggregate volume of transactions these projects generate and the final cost of the toll system selected. Separate from this, the capital costs of roadside infrastructure for individual toll road projects would be funded from the revenue from tolls collected on that road.

Once funding is secured the proposal will be refined in consultation with key stakeholders, particularly in terms of procedures to implement the system, institutional arrangements for collecting revenues and managing toll facilities, and policies for addressing issues such as privacy, violation enforcement.

“With input from stakeholders, we have an opportunity to establish a toll management system that ranks among the best in the world,” said Mr. van Barneveld.

More information and submission forms are available online at www.transit.govt.nz/national_tolls/ “Consultation” or from Transit offices. The submission period closes on 18 October 2004.

ENDS


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