Hong Kong starts fixed-toll plan

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Hong Kong starts fixed-toll plan

Cars drive past the toll booths of Western Harbour Tunnel, in Hong Kong, on Aug. 2, 2023. The fixed-toll plan, which was effective Wednesday, will last until Monday. CALVIN NG CHINA DAILY Traffic at the city's three cross-harbor tunnels was running perfectly on Wednesday, the first day of the launch of a new toll plan to triage the city's traffic, according to Lam Sai-hung, the government spokesman for transport and logistics.

Under the 633 toll plan, private cars using the Cross-Harbour Tunnel will be charged HK $60 about $8, while the toll is only HK 30 at the eastern and western tunnels.

Taxis, however, have to pay only HK$25 for passing through any of the three tunnels. Passengers who don't board from cross-harbor taxi stands will have to pay the outbound and return toll, which is HK $50 in total.

The plan was implemented on the day that the government took over the Western Harbour Crossing after the franchise ended 30 years ago.

Lam, who visited the Western Cross Harbour Tunnel, said, The number of taxis passing through the tunnel was about 50 percent higher than previously.

Drivers can choose which tunnel to take according to traffic flow during peak hours, which is the diversion effect of the 633 toll plan for taxis.

The new HKeToll, which enables motorists to pay tunnel tolls without having to queue at the booths, will be launched on Sunday at the Western Harbour Crossing and on Aug 27 at the Eastern Harbour Crossing.

Lam said that the ultimate goal is to implement a time-of-use pricing system for the three tunnels as soon as possible this year to further ease traffic in the three tunnels.