Particularly, the association proposed a 50% reduction and objected to a plan to build a toll station on the toll-free National Highway 1A in a move to force vehicles, especially trucks, to use the expressway.
The HCMC-based transport companies mostly use heavy trucks over 10 tons and container trucks to deliver goods to the Mekong Delta. Meanwhile, the maximum toll on over-18-ton trucks and 40-feet container vehicles using the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway is VND320,000, or VND640,000 for a round trip, according to the document the association's general secretary Thai Van Chung sent the Daily.
On the other hand, enterprises only earn a profit of VND300,000-400,000 for each transport trip within 100 kilometers. In case customers do not accept transport fee hikes, profits of transport firms are not enough to cover toll fees.
Therefore, drivers choose to travel on National Highway 1A to maintain their minimum profits. The transport association wants a toll reduction on the freeway to meet the current economic situation and prevent prices of goods and services from rising.
Do Xuan Phu, director of the transport company Minh Lien, told the Daily that traveling on National Highway 1A pushes up fuel costs, but not as high as the expressway toll fees.
After three days of toll collection in the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway, many transport enterprises have reflected that the current toll fees are inappropriate. The transport association demonstrated that the same toll applied to vehicles with 12 seats and 30 seats are unreasonable.
While trucks carrying 17 tons of goods have to pay VND4,000 for each kilometer, those carrying one more ton have to pay twice as much. Therefore, the association suggested the same toll applied to trucks weighing from 10 tons and container vehicles.
Regarding the toll station planned to go up on National Highway 1A to assist toll collections on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway, the association cited the Ordinance on Fees and Charges saying that vehicles not traveling on the expressway are not obliged to pay tolls.
Therefore, the association petitioned the Government not to approve establishment of this toll station, and proposed the Government, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport to have an appropriate toll collection policy to encourage drivers to travel on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway.Speaking to the Daily, Le Duc Tuan, chief of Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure, the project owner, said whether to lower toll fees could only be decided by the finance and transport ministries. He said on the first day of toll collection, only 18,000 vehicles traveled on the expressway, mostly cars, passenger coaches and light trucks, versus the previous 32,000-35,000.