Monday, February 01, 2010

Motorcycle Japan - from June over 1500 kilometres of expressway will be free in Japan - great news for riders

"The government plans to eliminate tolls on about 1,500 kilometers of expressways from June, the first step to implementing the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's election pledge to make expressways toll-free, according to government sources.

Expressways in regional areas with light traffic volume, such as those in the Kanto region and the Sanin and Okinawa expressways, are expected to be among the first expressways to have their tolls abolished.

The government plans to phase out expressway tolls over three years starting in fiscal 2010.

The government decided to limit the toll-free sections because the fiscal 2010 budget for a program to eliminate expressway tolls was cut from the 600 billion yen requested by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry to 100 billion yen.

About 8,500 kilometers of expressways, excluding the Shuto and Hanshin expressways and routes that run via three bridges connecting Honshu and Shikoku, crisscross the nation. Those linking major cities, such as the Tomei and Meishin expressways, are unlikely to have their tolls abolished because doing so would likely result in severe traffic jams, according to the sources.

The government plans to introduce a new uniform toll system in June for expressways that will not be made toll-free. Under the envisaged system, the upper toll limit will be 2,000 yen for passenger cars, 1,000 yen for minicars and 5,000 yen for trucks, regardless of distance traveled, the sources added."

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Jan. 31, 2010

Further Reading:

Motorcycle Japan

See Japan in 2010