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Expressways test new toll system

Date Posted: 2006-12-08

Okinawa officials trying to reduce traffic jams are now trying building extra entrances to Okinawa Expressway accessible only to cars with an electronic toll collection system.

ETC, an Electronic Toll Collection system, involves installing a device in cars to automatically register toll fees on the expressway and charge them to a credit card. A five-day survey in late November showed 2,307 cars used the new Kishaba Area special entrance gate, an average of 384 cars per day.

Cars must have the ETC devices installed, but officials say many older cars do not have them. Some 47 drivers trying to use the special entrance gate were puzzled when the gate wouldn’t open for them, and officials are beginning an education campaign to explain how the ETC works.

Prefecture Police and the Expressway operators say there will be eight new special entrance gates set up for ETC only. They will monitor the program over the coming three months. The special ETC gates are operational 6am~8pm daily.

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