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[NSW]E-tag companies getting smart

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by gegvasco, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Seems at least the RTA processing of e-tag toll is starting to catch up. As background, I have an RTA e-tag that has my car and both bikes rego plates assigned to it. It used to be that when I used the electronic lanes on the toll plazas(without the e-tag because it is not designed for bikes) I would get a letter in the mail a few weeks later for the bill. I then rang them and they assigned those tolls to the e-tag number that I gave them. And I always thought this was stupid as they already have this on record.

    Well it seems they have caught up now and we no longer get the letters. At least on the M4, they are automatically billing the e-tag account if it is associated with a rego they pull off the photo. This is probably a good thing as it saves having to ring them. But I have also noticed that the quarterly statements, that included the M4/M5 cashback form and a pre-addressed envelope, are no longer sent. I have only been getting them electronically by email. Even though the claim form instructions say you should be getting the form and envelope in the mail. Looks like they are trying to save money on this process but I haven't seen anything to tell people of this. So the "customer" is now required to print out the forms, provide an envelope and provide a stamp.

    What happens if your email has changed? While there might be an obligation to inform them of change of postal address I don't remember anywhere that it said I also had to inform them of change of email address. If you never get the electronic statement then you can never claim the rebate.

    I guess this is all in preparation for the termination of the cashback scheme in 2009. You can be sure they won't extend it otherwise the people in the northwest who cop the M2/M7/Lane Cove Tunnel and Harbour Bridge tolls will crack the shits(and rightly so).
  2. so do you ride through the e-tag only lane..?

    i always only pass throughthe normal paid booths with the e-tag sensor in my jacket pocket ..and it detects when i stand up on my bike a little

    i've seen other motorcyclists go through the e-tag only lane...do they attach the sensor to their bike?
  3. i use the harbour bridge bus lane. most of the time i just ride through the bus lane etoll and pay the toll when i get the letter
  4. I always use the no-stop lane when I'm on the bike with the tag still attached to my car. The e-tags were never designed to be used on bikes - another indication that the NSW government pays no mind whatsoever to riders. The tags aren't waterproof so if you fit it to the bike and it gets wet, you are up for the replacement fee of about $80. If you have it on your person it can cause additional injury in an accident should it receive an impact as the casing shatters into shards that can puncture things - like you. The MCC tested this which is why they are so opposed to the current e-tags.

    The ENTIRE tolling system was designed without any consideration for bikes. Did you know that if a vehicle goes through the no-stopping lane and triggers the camera because it doesn't receive a response from the e-tag, the system is supposed to be able to read the rego plate automatically so there is no operator input in reading the photo. It just spits out the rego for the toll notice/debiting your account. But the cameras selected were not trialed on motorbike size number plates and often can't read the plate. An operator then has to manually do it. It really is pathetic.

    And another case I have heard of for those that ride up to the gate and wait for the tag to be recognized, is where a rider did so but the sensors that work out what type of vehicle it is for whatever reason failed to detect the size of vehicle. As it then couldn't work out what to bill the e-tag it wouldn't raise the gate. He couldn't back up and try again because by then there was about 10 cars piled up behind him. So the operator told him to pay cash. He refused, partly on principle and partly because by paying cash he couldn't claim the cashback. A standoff ensued for about 5 minutes(you can imagine the disruption in a busy toll plaza) until the operator relented and let him through. All because the system wasn't designed to properly cater for bikes.

    I'm not sure about all the tollways as they are run by different companies and under different rules(another wonderful aspect of the NSW system) but be careful of trying the no-stopping lanes without a tag as they may try to slap an admin fee on top of the toll. The M4/M5 which are RTA/SWR roads don't do this - they just take the toll off when they process it.
  5. isnt that the end of tolling on the M4 ?
  6. That is the end of the deed on the M4 that SouthWest Roads has. At that point the road(and tolling) reverts to the NSW Government and hence the RTA.
    The equivalent M5 deed ends in 2023 but it is the M4 change that will force the cashback scheme issue. When it does do you reckon they will stop tolling? Did the bridge toll disappear when they paid it off? Nope. They increased the toll, and incidentally removed the fair disparity between tolls on bikes and cars, when they introduced the Harbour tunnel so there was no financial disincentive to use the tunnel. This was the first PPP(Private/Public Partnership) toll road and now PPP forms the basis for all of the toll roads and hence all of the bullshit user-pays road development.

    While I haven't seen it in writing, it was discussed at an MCC meeting that the M4/M5 cashback was a Carr government vote grabber that was supposed to end in 09 - as it turns out 2010. Like I said, I can't see them cranking it up again to satisfy one set of voters who have been getting it easy when the growing set of voters in the NW are getting slammed with twice as many tolls.
  7. So long as you have a eTag registered, no need to even carry it when riding.

    Just ride through the eTag only lanes, yes you'll get pictures taken, but there is no admin fee charged, and you might even get the odd free trip :wink:
  8. Here in Melbourne they don't charge bikes using City LInk BUT EastLink when it opens will charge everyone using rego plate recognition to debit your account or send out a fine.

    With cars on City Link you can register your car for occasional use or if you go through without the eTag by accident they slug you a handling fee. I've actually argued on the phone that they missed the tag at times which is real easy when the toll gantry prior and after slugged me but not the one in the middle :p

    The other thing I've done is used my eTag on other cars to save on buying day passes but your not really supposed to do that :-$
  9. M7 and etags

    hey guys, i have just sold my car and bought my bike (yay me)

    i actually forgot to take the etag out of my car while i was selling it (it was a rushed sale) so i rang Roam, that's who my etag is with, i removed my car and added my bike to my account as well as canceling the tag i left in the car (i have multiple tags for me and my girlfriend), while on the phone i enquired as to how i would use my tag on my bike.

    Now i am quoting this from the telephone operator that i spoke to, when you travel the M7 and don't have a tag, they charge you a $0.75c fee to match your bike/car to your tag, so she tells me, now after reading this thread i am still wondering if that is correct, and since have vowed not to ride the m7 unless absolutely necessary... also because im on my L's and i don't want a reason to go over 80kms.

    in regards to m4/m2/m5/cct/lct, i wonder if they can match my bike to my roam tag, and if so will any of them actually charge me an admin fee? the reason i wonder about the other tolled roads is because the girl said this isn't the case with the m4/m2, that they can't match my tag to my rego plate and that i would need to stop at the plaza and pay...

    i wonder if they charge fee's based on who your tag is with?
  10. Re: M7 and etags

    I have the RTA tag, never been charged an admin fee and been on every motorway in Sydney.
  11. maybe i need to get rid of my tag and get an RTA tag not a roam tag...
  12. yeah they must keep your details. ive only ever got one letter asking for the toll plus $10.00 admin fee. the reply was simply my RTA tag account details. i havnt recieved a letter since. and i do a fair few trips down the M7/M2 to get to holsworthy from hornsby and a number of times i had my etag in my other jacket, all i saw was the normal toll added to my account.
    im starting to become a bit tight arse though, trying to "piggy back" of trucks when i go through to avoid the toll. after 17 bucks of tolls, 15 bucks of fuel. i'm barely making any money for my run out to tuesday parade where i get about 40 bucks. so fark that for a game of soldiers.
  13. Re: M7 and etags

    I have a Roam tag as well... Usually on the M7 they pick your plate up and your account gets charged the toll amount only. Otherwise they send you the letter and you have to mail it back in(!) I've gone through my statements and I can only find one instance where they've charged me the matching fee.

    Here's what their most recent Customer Service Agreement has to say about the matching fee:

    I guess I could get the $0.75 back if I wanted to, but my time is worth far more than that.

    I've never been charged a matching fee on any other toll road, although that is a matter for the primary tag providers for each of those roads.

    It seems all of the toll roads are getting better at charging accounts based on number plates rather than sending out letters. I travel 2-3 times a week either through the bus lane on the bridge or through the tunnel and I was forever getting letters, but since they changed the tunnel to tag/pass (along with the E-only lanes on the bridge - including the bus lane) I've had nothing, and my account has been charged accordingly.
  14. hey thanks for the response, ill give it a go, at the moment im trying to figure out the best way to get to my new job, blacktown > mossman and what is the most effective, time & money wise, although i am on a bike, so traffic isn't that big an issue. thanks again for your responses
    :cool: :cool: :grin: :grin:
  15. The fastest route would be M7 -> M2 -> Lane Cove Tunnel -> Gore Hill Freeway -> Falcon St Exit. Unfortunately the Sydney Motorways website lists the toll from the Great Western Highway to the Falcon St Exit as $14.14 one way :eek:

    You could save $3.87 by getting off the M2 at Delhi Rd and taking Epping Rd, Pacific Hwy and Falcon St, but the traffic (especially on Falcon St) can get pretty heavy at times.
  16. i worked it out as

    m2 (abbot rd) 4.40
    lct 2.58
    falcon st 1.60

    thats $17.60 each day - a complete joke if you ask me, so i google mapped it and it seems the best way toll free is
    old windsor rd,
    cumberland hwy
    beecroft rd
    epping rd
    pacific hwy
    falcon st

    time difference will be huge, but im sure ill learn to deal saving myself almost $20 a day

    thanks :D
  17. Turn off Delhi Rd, you can split down the left side (OK, so there's a bit of gravel :p ), cut across to Northbridge (few ways), then onto Cammeray, turn left into the back streets and come out at Cremorne/Mosman.
  18. great, thanks for that, i might make a topic in the general forum, see what routes people come up with

    i was trying for a toll free way but i don't mind just paying 1 toll.... depending on the time it saves

    thanks again for your help