ETC Toll Booths

Was wondering if any of you have bought the required stuff to use the ETC lane. I heard that they keep changing the equipment so if you buy the transmitter now it might not be correct in a year or so.

Pros? Cons? Prices?

Been doing more highway travel and wanted to know if this is something I should be getting. Does it plug into the lighter socket as well? Because I already got a few things plugged in there.

In Keelung City we now have the etag system ( … 5c87ac1b50 ).
Your car must be registered in Keelung to get the eTag, but of course it works at ALL the toll booths nationwide

It is just a little ‘card’ that sticks on your windscreen: it is FREE, no signup fee, no equipment to buy, no power source, no installation fee, no extra charges etc.

It is linked to your car registration, you get an SMS text message when your account is running low, and the account can be topped up via the 7-11 iBon machine,

ETC has a counter outside the major supermarket here (Imart) and the staff help with the paperwork, and will then walk with you to the car and stick it on the right spot on your windscreen.

Not sure if it is available in other cities yet, but I do think they are planing on making it available all around Taiwan soon.

I still prefer the ticket/coin route as it gives me a chance to get rid of the mountain of change I seem to collect from no where in particular. Also, they seem to change the technology and prices every so often. Do you want to buy something, use it for a year, and then have to buy something again?(sorry apple fans)
I don’t see much difference in commuting time, there is a bottleneck on every lane right now anyways in the morning.

I don’t know about them changing the system, but we have a device that is at least 4 years old and still works. It sticks onto the center of the windscreen and uses a 9V square battery. To charge it there is a “credit card” that slides directly on to the device and is easily removed to be charged at 7-11. It also warns you(with beeps) when you go below NT100 credit

Apparently it saves 2NT per toll, and certainly saves fumbling around for change as well as being much faster as you don’t have to stop.

I’m a big fan and haven’t had any problems.

We were going to get the ETC system for our cars, but they are now planning to phase out toll booths all together (my husband says the plan is to do so from July), and use number plate readers or some other system instead, like the one in Australia apparently. This means that you will be charged according to when you get on and off the highway, whether there was originally a need to pass the toll gate or not before. You will get a monthly bill.

That sounds depressing and short sighted. Short hops on the highway will now be avoided and people will use the regular roads instead. leading to more traffic through the towns. Hope your husband is wrong on this and the government don’t put it into place.

Actually it is these freeloaders who jam up the freeway at every major city, preventing it from being used for the purpose intended - traveling long distances at high speed. It would be great to drive from Taipei to Kaohsiung averaging 100kph, rather than crawling through Linkou, Taoyuan, Zhongli and a dozen other places along the way.

Local traffic should be on local streets or on a purpose-built bypass - or else pay to use the freeway like everyone else.

Actually it is these freeloaders who jam up the freeway at every major city, preventing it from being used for the purpose intended - traveling long distances at high speed. It would be great to drive from Taipei to Kaohsiung averaging 100kph, rather than crawling through Linkou, Taoyuan, Zhongli and a dozen other places along the way.

Local traffic should be on local streets or on a purpose-built bypass - or else pay to use the freeway like everyone else.[/quote]

I agree with monkey. The toll booth method is outdated and the ETC system was/is a total fail because the OBUs are big, take up space in the windscreen and look like shit. The E-Tag system is a much better and accurate method for billing freeway users since it charges by total distance traveled on the freeway instead of taking 40$ at each county. I often get on the #3 freeway (southbound) just south of Houlong and there is a toll .5km from the on-ramp. That’s 40$ just for getting on the freeway, whereas I could get on the #1 in Changhwa and drive 40+ km before having to pay.

It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out. I personally hope it makes driving easier and cheaper. I hate Highway 1. But you have painfully few choices going north - south in Zhanghua.

I expect them to screw it up royally at first. It would be interesting to see how economic incentives change driving habits and I’m sure someone will write a paper on it.

What will these automatic methods do about things like rental cars? Will they be able to get immediate bills so they can charge the renter for tolls? And what about if you borrow someone’s car, or if you go in a group and want to split the tolls? Will it be easy to figure out how much you’re being charged (on the spot, not a month later)? If they’re going to record you when you get on and off, will they also start checking to see who’s speeding (ie. making sure that you took enough time to get from A to B)? I don’t think many would be a fan of that.

I think that Taiwan’s toll system is brilliant - it may not accurately charge people for their distance, but it’s dead simple, predictable, and has the most efficient toll plazas I’ve ever seen.

And the next logical step after people ‘accept’ this new number plate recognition system for being more convenient would be for the government to step and and order average speed detection between points and also add speeding tickets into the service.

Considering how important govt revenues from traffic tickets are, I can see this being the main reason for the switch.

And another logical step is to introduce congestion charges in Taipei, similar to the London model.

This is could get expensive, quickly. :neutral:

The brilliantly stupid congestion charge. Yes, of course! Why not?!

this fucking sucks, I go all over Taipei and Taipei County often just inside of the toll areas. Now they are going to charge the shit out of me where now I rarely travel past a toll.

do you have a link to this news?

Yeah, but without the British accent. There are speed traps based on license plate cameras on all the motorways near big cities in Ole Blighty.

OK, here’s a Chinese news article, with details about how the system should work. It’s a bit a different from my original post. This seems so much more complicated than it needs to be. I heard a news report on Radio NZ last week that the Auckland motorway’s electronic system has administration fees of 50%, I can see this new system for Taiwan being up there, too.

Translation first:
*Expected to come in early next year (later than I stated in my last post)

*Three principles of the system:
[ul]Total income collected from drivers will stay the same
Long distance drives should be cheaper than now
Short distance commute will be taken into consideration [/ul]

*Collection methods:
[ul]Those with eTag get larger discount (this is the one cars registered in Jilong could get for free earlier this year)
Those with no eTag but with a pre-registered account get less discount
Those not registered and with no eTag will be charged through image capturing/license recognition, get no discount and may incur a handling fee[/ul]

Full article:












This article writes that the incoming system will use the eTag, not the old, big system. Sorry, no time for full translation.

The new Etag (the window sticker) is now available for free for everyone. Currently, you get 10% off toll charges if you use the Etag. You can put in your area info into the spaces at the top of the page to see what participating gas stations/other places are near you. If the car owner goes in person, they only need their ID. I did hit a barrier at the gas station today, though. They can’t process the application with my ARC number, even though the car is under my name and I have a license. They told me I have to go to the DMV. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Chinese page here:

**You pay a TWD400 deposit but it is deducted from your toll bill.

Finally got their fingers out of their arses ten years later to fix ETC.