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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 21, 2012
Business & Economy
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Have Money, Will Travel
December 21, 2012   
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Since July 2012 drivers of vehicles weighing more than 3.5 metric tons have been required to pay a toll on nearly 1,900 kilometers of roads and freeways in Poland. The General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA), the authority responsible for road management in Poland, says it will introduce tolls on more modernized and newly built roads as these open to traffic. A total of 300 kilometers of new roads are expected to be covered by the toll system this year.

On March 30 the country’s electronic toll system, called viaToll, will be expanded to include a further 160 kilometers. When this happens, Poland’s toll road system will be composed of national roads and freeways with a total length of 2,190 kilometers. Ultimately, the length of the roads is expected to triple by 2018.

Around 600,000-700,000 vehicles owned by over 300,000 firms are covered by the viaToll system across the country. Toll revenue is growing as planned by the GDDKiA and the transport ministry. Daily receipts average out at zl.3 million.

The viaToll system cost zl.1.1 billion to develop but the project has already recouped its costs, officials say. This is a remarkable success considering that the payback period for an investment in an infrastructure project of this scale is normally counted in years. One of the most profitable road stretches is the A4 freeway, one of the most important East-West transport corridors in Poland.

The transport ministry and the GDDKiA are working to change some of the viaToll regulations which are particularly criticized by road users. Drivers are especially critical of the system of fines for those failing to pay tolls.
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