Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Toll rates unreasonable

Published:Tuesday | March 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


It is alarming why toll rates, even those before the recently proposed ones for the North-South Highway, are so high. I looked at toll rates in the United States, and they begin at a low of 11.4 cents per mile, using the New Jersey Turnpike, to the highest charge of 54.4 cents at 17-Mile Drive, California.

I do not know what the former Government of Jamaica told the current owners of the toll roads about the people of Jamaica why they could expect to have road users paying up to $7,400 for a round trip.

My understanding of toll roads all over the world is that investors build them with the understanding that they will get back their money, with interest, over many years. However, it seems to me that in Jamaica, the China Harbour Engineering Company wants to get back its money in very short time.

We would have thought that our Government would have sought a reasonable bargain for the people of Jamaica and the current owners of the toll roads. This could be one of the first tests for the new Holness administration.