Autopass to get showing in mainland

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 May, 1997, 12:00am

Cross-Harbour Tunnel Co, partly owned by Wharf (Holdings), plans to demonstrate its Autopass system in Beijing in a bid to expand its mainland operations.

Director Quinn Law Yee-kwan yesterday told the company's annual general meeting that a demonstration would lead to a better understanding of the system and might lead to a joint venture.

He said the trials, which would begin in the capital soon, also were likely to be held in other gateway cities, including Shanghai.

Autopass users have a tag attached to their car that is scanned automatically by a computer as they pass through a toll. The user is billed without slowing down or stopping the vehicle.

In Hong Kong, the system is operated by Autopass Co, a 70 per cent-owned subsidiary of Cross-Harbour Tunnel Co, and is used in 22 auto-toll lanes in five tunnels.

At the end of last year, Autopass had nearly 87,000 vehicle users in Hong Kong.

Mr Law said Cross-Harbour Tunnel Co was considering raising the toll of its Cross-Harbour Tunnel following reports that the Eastern-Harbour Tunnel would raise its rates from $10 to $15 per vehicle.

He said the rise was not guaranteed since the company needed to prove to the Government it was not being 'adequately remunerated'.

The company said it was still negotiating with the Government over the renewal of the company's franchise for the tunnel. The contract expires in August 1999.