Coin shortage forces temporary changes to toll charges on North South Highway
The Transport Ministry says as of Friday, motorists using the North South Highway from Caymanas Estate in St Catherine to Mammee Bay, St Ann, will see changes in the toll rates because of a shortage of coins.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Ministry said the highway operators sought its approval through the Toll Authority, to vary the rates along sections of the toll road to address the issues of inconvenience and possible conflicts.
The ministry says at a meeting Wednesday, the operators of the highway indicated that coins in their possession will be exhausted by Friday.
They contended that on a daily basis, an average of 60,000 $10 and $20 coins are used.
The adjustments to the toll rates will result in some motorists paying less than the usual rates, while others will pay $20 more as the rates are rounded up or down to the nearest $50 or $100.
The ministry further says an analysis of the changes reveals that motorists of Classes 1, 3 and 4 vehicles using the Angels to Caymanas and Unity Valley to Linstead sections and vice versa will pay $20 more, while those using all other sections of the Highway will pay less.
It says the shortage of coins in circulation has been confirmed by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) as well as commercial banks.
Transport and Mining Minister, Lester 'Mike' Henry, says the changes are temporary until the shortage is resolved.
He is also recommending that the operators be allowed to purchase coins directly from the BOJ for a more seamless operation of the facility.