Tokyo to adjust expressway tolls to curb congestion during Olympics
TOKYO - The organizers of next year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said on Monday that the city's expressway tolls will be adjusted for private vehicles during next year's Games as part of an effort to reduce expected traffic congestion.
Tokyo's Metropolitan Expressway will charge more when events are held and less in the early hours. Drivers of regular vehicles would pay an additional 1,000 yen ($9.5) to use the network between 6 am and 10 pm Public transport, delivery and welfare services vehicles would be exempt from the surcharge.
From midnight to 4 am, tolls on the expressway covering downtown Tokyo will be halved for all vehicles equipped with ETC, the electronic toll collection system, according to the organizers.
The system is expected to be adopted between July 20 and Aug 10, and Aug 25 to Sept 6 next year, they added.
The transport ministry and the National Police Agency estimate that it would take 80 minutes to travel some 18 kilometers between the waterfront Olympic village and the New National Stadium if no measures are taken. By taking steps such as closing some expressway entrances and adjusting charges, the time will be 20 minutes.
Last month, some entry points for expressway lanes bound for central Tokyo were closed in a large-scale test. However, the results of the test showed that congestion fell only about 7 percent from a year earlier and failed to hit the target.
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