Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) screwup improved

I’m confused as to why the powers that be in Taiwan can manage to screw up something that should be seen as a positive development step.

As I understand things, the existing toll collection booths are already running a surplus - that is, the highways where they are located are already paid for, so the tolls collected are used to improve other, less busy roads. Fine. So why do people need to pay for their onboard toll device?

It seems obvious to me, that a device sold for, say NT$1500, should have NT$1500 of credit on it. Then it becomes a free upgrade, the highway department doesn’t lose anything, since they are already “making” money off the toll roads, and quality improves due to better traffic flow.

Instead, they have implemented an unfair system whereby those who can afford it, can pay to upgrade, pissing off everyone else. Not only that, but even more unfairness was put into the system by giving the early birds less of a deal than the johnny-come-latelys.

I suppose it has to do with the BOT model. But whatever system is used to finance the construction, the cost of the onboard unit could still be reimbursed through toll credits without any actual “loss” to the highway department. Then everyone would be happy, and the DPP would have one less black mark on their track record.

This is not brain surgery? Why are things implemented so foolishly around here? (Rhetorical!)

I believe words like amateur and inexperience best describe the situation. Also the word corruption can be used too.

This could be the next political scandal…Whether it is kickbacks for foreign migrant labor in K-city or corrupt bidding procedures, it seems like another example of cronyism within DPP political appoinments. Haven’t any of these clowns made enough in the private sector? :unamused:

What entertainment though!! :smiling_imp: Suicide!!! :laughing:

[quote=“Taipei Times”]
As the nation awaits the Supreme Administrative Court’s verdict on the suitability of Far Eastern Toll Collection Co in taking charge of the Highway Toll Collection (ETC) System, public interest in the potential scandal over Far Eastern’s winning of the bid is also growing.

Sung Nai-wu (宋乃午), former chief secretary of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), said yesterday that he was willing to have a face-to-face talk with People First Party Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), who last year accused Sung of assisting Far Eastern in securing the bid for Taiwan’s largest “build, operate and transfer” (BOT) project.

Specifically, Liu charged that Sung gave counterfeit paintings to members of the review committee and asked Far Eastern to buy back those paintings for NT$1.2 billion (US$36.4 million).

According to a Taipei Prosec-utors’ Office’s spokesperson, evidence shows that the scandal is a complicated affair and may involve a number of high-ranking officials.

The scandal was accidentally discovered by prosecutors when they were investigating axle counter purchases by the Taiwan Railway Administration. Prosecutors have found telephone records showing that the same group of officials and contractors had attempted to use the same method to secure the ETC project.

Sung was found to be heavily involved in the decision-making process for the ETC system. He was also said to have convened closed-door meetings on the ETC system without obtaining permission from his supervisors.

Sung denied the accusation at a press conference yesterday at the Taipei Prosecutors’ Office.

I swear I will kill myself if I am found to be involved in the scandal,” said Sung, showing a knife he had prepared before making the public statement. [/quote]
taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ … 2003295154

we were just discussing this in vroom vroom the other day…

[quote=“plasmatron”] I just had a thought regarding the seemingly dead in the water status of this new ETC system… In the recent past there was always a significant lobby from some quarters which kept the legislator’s pockets well lined enough to make sure this ETC system wasn’t adopted… something to do with the people who work the toll booths and/or more importantly the companies they work for who got the kick-back contracts to extract the tolls for using a public freeway…

So in a par for the Taiwan “government” course move, they have a “who’s got the biggest hong bao” competition to see who gets the rights to implement the ETC system and the winners of course were the cretins who are making such a hash of implementing the system… the thought struck me however that said cretins could well be deliberately making a complete mess of the ETC system to ensure public disapproval of the new automated system and a general support for keeping the old system in place… this means they can say “yes, we tried it… didn’t work… out with the new in with the old…” which is very much in line with what Taiwan’s current regime is all about… everyone keeps their jobs, the legislators keep their hong bao’s, the ever dim Taiwanese public happily pull the wool back over their eyes and all is well…

then again perhaps I’m giving too much credit to them, this “conspiracy theory” is wide of the mark and it’s just good old fashioned, home grown incompetence from the people in charge of implementing the ETC system… :idunno:[/quote]

Yeah, this whole deal sounded screwy from day1. Both technology choices they had are mature and used in many places throughout the world already. Besides that, It just seemed simplier to just charge all drivers an extra NT$1K a year extra during their registrations for highway use. Not only would it get rid of the toll booths eleviating the bottlenecks, but reduce the cost overhead. Its not like people from other countries will be driving on Taiwan roads(interstates…). Perhaps they could have developed a special deal for carpooling or something to give people discounts (example: waiting area before getting on the freeway for people that need rides to airport, etc.) On the con side, i think 1500 workers would lose their jobs.

Just some statistics from doing a google search: As the ministry’s data indicated that a total of 405,932 units was sold nationwide in the first nine months of the year, the whole-year volume is likely to surpass 500,000 units to reach around 520,000 units sold, he said. In the January-to-September period, Hotai Motor continued to lead the market with a share of 28 percent at 113,616 unit sales, while China Motor Corp (中華汽車) was second with a 17.4 percent market share at 70,675 units, according to the statistics. The Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產) was third with 13.5 percent at 54,810 units. The fourth and fifth positions went to Ford Lio Ho and Mazda Taiwan, with shares of 11.1 percent and 6 percent respectively, according to statistics.

No Portuguese proud here:



Taiwan now advertising the highway toll collection system is the first one in the world to be fully electronic for the entire country.

Actually the system is quite efficient. You can pay as you go or just let them bill you.

What they don’t mention is that ~1000 people that lost their jobs when it was established are still trying to collect their severance entitlements.


I like that the ETC system doesn’t penalise you like other countries if you forgot to pay !

The redundancy…That’s bad…