[LINK] Sydney Toll-Roads Require Tags - Are They Identified?
marghanita at ramin.com.au
Fri Apr 2 12:47:21 EST 2004
There are currently alternate toll free routes. Though not a convenient
one across the harbour bridge.
The bigger problem for Sydney is the focus on roads and private vehicles
at the expense of public transport.I heard a report that the promised
bus lanes, on the toll ways, haven't materialised. As an inner west
resident - this does nothing for my air.
The NSW government reimburses the toll for those using the e-tag but the
minimum credit you can have on your e-tag is $100. The business model
seems to be based on the use of the credit - which sounds ok to me.
As an itinerant Toll way and harbour bridge user, I prefer to pay on
use. If the toll ways go e-tag only, then I will probably revert to
alternatives. This means I will get lost more often as the street signs
direct you via the toll ways.
I generally only drive in off-peak hours, using public transport
otherwise, and am constantly amused by drivers sitting alone in their
cars in traffic in peak times.
In my view, the cashless move is less likely to be related to
surveillance and more like driven by the desire to get that $100 credit
from itinerant users. I am not sure whether you can pay cash for your
e-tag or whether it has to be linked to a credit card. Nor whether you
have to provide your car registration.
If you are concerned about surveillance - you should check out the
cameras located along the tollways, laneways and buildings.
Roger Clarke wrote:
> [What's the situation with anonymous use of Sydney toll-roads?
> [We established some time ago that Melbourne does not provide an
> effective anonymous alternative for its Tullamarine and southern-edge
> toll-roads, which is an appalling diminution of the right to travel
> without being tracked.
> [If Sydney is in the same position, it's even *more* serious, because
> the post-socialist Carr government has converted almost all of the
> trunk-roads to toll-roads]
> Bridge the last cash crossing for tagless hold-outs
> The Sydney Morning Herald
> Date: April 2 2004
> By Alexandra Smith
> Sydney is heading towards a cashless tollway system - but the Harbour
> Bridge may keep a coin option for people who do not have an electronic tag.
> The Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, said yesterday that the harbour
> tunnel would be the first cashless toll road, but a decision on when the
> tag-only option would be introduced had not been made.
> A Roads and Traffic Authority spokesman said there were no plans to
> remove cash tolling from the Harbour Bridge "while there is public
> demand for it".
> Other motorways, including the cross-city tunnel, the Lane Cove tunnel
> and the M7, would be cashless, the spokesman said.
> However, tagless drivers on these roads and in the harbour tunnel would
> still have to pay, probably through options similar to those used by
> one-off or infrequent users on Melbourne's CityLink.
> The Melbourne road has short-term toll passes that are available over
> the internet or by phone. Payment can be made before or after using the
> The spokesman said no final decisions had been made on how to cater for
> one-off tunnel users, but drivers without e-tags would not be
> automatically fined.
> "If a motorist inadvertently drives through a toll booth . . . they are
> sent a letter asking them to pay the toll and a $5 administration fee,"
> the spokesman said.
> This system would continue.
> Mr Scully said the introduction of the cashless tunnel would further
> ease congestion on Sydney's roads. The city already has 500,000 e-tag
> "Motorists using these tags are helping relieve congestion, as about
> 1500 vehicles an hour can move through an e-toll booth, compared with
> 700 in an automatic cash booth," Mr Scully said.
> Already during the morning peak about 60 per cent of those using the
> harbour tunnel were using tags, he said.
> Mr Scully said he expected changes to the toll booths on the Harbour
> Bridge and in the tunnel would continue as the number of e-tag users
> As a colleague wrote to me this morning:
>> Meanwhile, here in Sydney I hear there is a push to make the harbour
>> a "cash free zone". Only vehicles fitted with one of those etag things
>> be able to use it. Those without an etag will have to use the bridge.
>> Give it a few years, and they'll then claim the success of the tunnel
>> justifies doing the same on the M4,M2, cross city tunnel, eastern
>> distributor, etc etc ... and eventually even the bridge again.
>> No more cash = no more anonymity?
Marghanita da Cruz
Ramin Communications, Sydney
Email: marghanita at ramin.com.au
Telephone: 0414 869202
Post: PO Box 341 Annandale NSW 2038 Australia
Governance of ICT - http://www.acs.org.au/governance
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