Small fee justifiable

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 January, 1994, 12:00am

WITH reference to E. R. Jackson's letter of December 27, I wish to set the record straight regarding the introduction of Autopass at the Cross Harbour Tunnel and Aberdeen Tunnel. This automatic toll collection system using the latest American technology, has, to date, cost over $15 million to install and at the end of 1993 nearly 24,000 vehicles had subscribed to the system.

The nominal charge of $20 per month for using the system helps to defray the cost of running the system, including the operation of a mainframe computer for maintenance of patrons' accounts and licence fees for proprietary software and also in part offsets the cost of the vehicle tag which is given to motorists free of charge. This tag alone costs more than one year's monthly charges.

We consider that the monthly charge of $20 is a small fee to pay for the convenience of using this system. However, if any of our patrons disagree with this view they will always have the option of continuing with manual payment of tolls. Nobody will be forced to use Autopass. The fact that 24,000 vehicle owners, with over 60 per cent of them being private vehicles, are currently subscribing to the system, demonstrates that many have discovered a much more convenient method of paying tolls.

K. R. ANDREWS General Manager The Autopass Co Ltd