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cashless  charge  failed  free  infrastructure lot  lot  motorway turns  nsw  private infrastructure  private  sydney  ticketing  tunnel  turns 
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Preview: Comments on Peter Martin: Sunday dollars+sense: Why the cashless tunnel cost...

Comments on Peter Martin: Sunday dollars+sense: Why the cashless tunnel costs

Updated: 2015-09-30T08:04:03.541+10:00


It is so true that the private infrastructure lot ...


It is so true that the private infrastructure lot want their hand right in your pocket so you won't notice what they are taking.

But you failed to comment on what a disaster it is for tourism. It's akin to taking down all the street signs to save money, 'cause the residents already know the street names. But what about the visitors? Well, if you are visiting Sydney, even from just outside Sydney, be very very careful. Some trips, like from West of the Blue Mountains (most of NSW) via Bell's Line of Road will take you into the city via the tolled/cash NW motorway, which turns into a tolled/cashless Lane Cove Tunnel motorway which turns into a free Waringah Expressway which turns into the Harbour Bridge/Tunnel (free one way, cashless the other)... You need different temp e-Tags - a situation only possible if the Roads & Traffic Authority had called on the ticketing expertise of Sydney Buses and CityRail, whom have been working for 10 years now on a failed conjoint ticketing system. And as a visitor, if you did manage to work out which tolls you went through without paying (no lights or message signs flash up to tell you that you just 'violated' a ticketing spot) then you have the joy of finding out just how to pay over the phone. At the end of such a harrowing time-wasting half-day you will realise that the toll operators charge more in 'service fees' than tolls... to the point where you will wonder why our lame watch-puppy the ACCC doesn't act to ensure banks and toll companies only charge 'fees' in strict amounts based on actual damages caused. [Don't get me started here, but $30 is OK for a bounced cheque, as that is a physical document that has to be chased through the inter-bank transfers, but having insufficient funds in your account to do a scheduled payment to others should cost about one cent, as the bank's computer takes one look at your balance and goes to the next transaction in about two milliseconds.]

And finally, the good old NSW RTA has failed to come up with an e-Tag that is suitable for motorcycle users. There is no secure way to leave it on a bike. They've suggested wearing the hard shatterable plastic on your person or on your helmet, but have been advised that safety experts warn against this. Other more enlightened states (like Vic) let motorcyclists use the tollways for free, as bikes cause less than 1000th of the damage to a roadway, compared to a truck. It is always a hard choice in NSW to work out the state agency/monopoly which is MOST hated by its citizens, but the RTA is consistently right up there!