China launches online services to popularise electronic toll collection
Beijing: China on Sunday launched online services to accelerate the installation of electronic toll collection (ETC) devices as it aims to automatise payment for 80 per cent of the country’s registered vehicles by the year end.
Drivers can now apply online for installation free of charge, have the devices delivered to their doorstep, and activate via the State Council app or the official WeChat account of the Ministry of Transport. China now has some 107 million ETC devices, and the number of users is expected to grow to 180 million by the end of this year, according to the ministry.
Last year, only 30 per cent of the country’s 240 million vehicles adopted ETC systems.
To step up adoption, the country also offers drivers who use the system discounts of at least 5 per cent on toll charges.
The moves are part of a broader plan to improve the efficiency of road transport and reduce logistics costs.
The rapid popularisation of ETC also lays a solid foundation for removing all expressway toll booths at provincial borders by the end of the year, said the ministry.