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Fair Tolls for Victorians 

The current toll system is imperfect. There are currently two separate companies that manage tolls in Victoria; Eastlink and Citylink. The differences between how these companies charge users are confusing for road users. The road toll system needs to be refined and clarified to ensure a fair road toll system that is clear to all road users. 

Fairness for Taxis’ 

In June this year, amendments were made to enable Taxis to charge car rates on Citylink. This meant that taxis are now charged the same as rideshare vehicles and cars. This reduced the stress of taxi drivers having to manually add tolls to meters and increased passenger awareness of the trip cost. This benefits both Taxi drivers and users as it creates a justifiable taxi cost. For example, Citylink outlines that the popular Flemington Road to airport trip will now cost $2.60 instead of $6.40. A good outcome for Taxis. 

These changes revealed a new fault in the toll system for taxi users. From July 1, Taxi-specific passes were removed, and Taxi drivers can purchase the same passes as cars. Taxis are capped at 2 passes annually, whereas Rideshare vehicles are capped at 12 passes annually. This places country and rural taxi users at a disadvantage to their rideshare counterparts; as opening an account can end up more costly if not used at least once a month. 

“It is only fair that the same standards are applied to both Taxis and RideShare Vehicles. It is unclear why Taxis are limited to 2 passes annually. This is yet another example of the government treating rideshare drivers one way and taxi drivers another.” 

Fair Vehicle Classifications 

The current wording of vehicle classes defines a Ute as LCV. As such families who own Utes for personal reasons are charged nearly double the cost of a car on Citylink. A 2019 Ford Ranger (2.9 to 3.2tonnes) will set an owner back $15.76 a day whereas a Ford Everest (2.2 to 2.4 tonnes), Land Range Rover (3.1 to 3.3 tonnes) or Holden Trailblazer (5.7 tonnes) are looking at $9.85 a day. The concept that a lightweight Ute can cost a family more than large SUVs is unfair and frustrating for toll users. 

NSW Tolls  

Currently NSW’s model provides the fairest tolling system for road users. Three types of toll pricing is used in NSW dependent on location and purpose of the tolls; Distance based, time of day tolling and fixed tolling. 

  • Time of day tolling is used on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour Tunnel encourages road users to use tolls out of peak periods to reduce congestion. 
  • Distance based tolls are typically used on long stretches of road to reflect the cost of maintaining the road travelled. 
  • Fixed toll is used on most tolls and is fixed regardless of distance or time.  

Solutions for Victorian Toll Users 

To create a fair and equitable system for all toll users that the class system of Victorian tolls be modified. In doing so it is important that the Eastlink, Citylink and upcoming North East Link all have the same classifications to ensure equality across the road toll system.  

I ask Minister Ben Carroll to reconsider the current tolling system, and to make appropriate amendments to toll vehicle classifications and pricing to create an equitable system across all toll roads. 

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