The benefits of electronic tolling - including quicker, safer and more predictable journeys, and reduced congestion and fuel costs - will very soon be arriving in the Bay of Plenty.
In addition, in the case of the Tauranga Eastern Link, tolling has allowed the new road to be constructed ahead of schedule.
Two high-tech electronic tolling gantries, the first of their kind in New Zealand, will be operational on two key routes in Tauranga from August.
These nine-metre high electronic tolling gantries have been installed and go live on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road on Monday 3 August and on Takitimu Drive Toll Road (Route K) on Saturday 1 August.
The Transport Agency has been operating the Northern Gateway Toll Road, north of Auckland, for six years. Feedback from those drivers plus looking to tolling trends overseas has driven the changes coming in to make travelling on our toll roads as easy as possible.
We’re launching a new, improved tolling system, transitioning in these two new Tauranga toll roads and offering new payment options to make it easier for people to transact with us.
The main benefit of the electronic system is that there is no need for toll booths, allowing drivers to travel straight through, reducing travel times and providing a more predictable journey.
Each gantry has 16 cameras, which will capture an image of the vehicle’s front and rear registration plates using the latest optical character recognition technology.
The cameras will read the registration plates and determine the size of the vehicle and whether it is a motorcycle, car, truck, or bus so the correct toll can be assigned.
We’ve been encouraging people to sign up for a toll account, which is the simplest way to pay, but there are also other payment options including paying online or at selected BP and Caltex service stations.
To ensure people know about and understand the changes, a comprehensive awareness and education campaign has been developed. This has included included advertising, community displays, face to face sessions with tolling ambassadors, newsletters, social media and a tolling preview session.
Drivers can choose whether to use a toll road or the free alternative route.