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Gov't would have a $500m bill if toll increase was not granted

Published:Wednesday | July 3, 2013 | 4:34 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



The Government says if the increase in toll rates was not granted, it would have had to pay approximately $500 million.




The Jamaican Infrastructure Operator Limited, the managers of Highway 2000, announced the new rates to take effect on Saturday to the dismay of the commuting public.



Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing this morning, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator Sandrea Falconer said the Government could not cover such a cost given the rough economic climate.



Joan Fletcher, CEO at Toll Authority Jamaica says it’s unlikely that there could be a revision of the decision to increase rates.



She said if increase had been delayed more than a year, there would be a greater increase.



She emphasised that the increases are based on the value of the US dollar and the consumer price index.



She admitted that if commuters decide to boycott the highway, it would negatively affect the operators.



The increased rates range from 11 to 23 per cent or from $10 up to $90 depending on the class of vehicle.



The charges apply to all classes of vehicles travelling on the Vineyards, Spanish Town, Portmore and May Pen legs of Highway 2000.



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