Published: 14:45, August 2, 2023 | Updated: 20:30, August 2, 2023
First day of new toll plan went smoothly, says transport chief
By Mike Gu in Hong Kong

Cars drive past the toll booths of Western Harbour Tunnel, in Hong Kong, on Aug 2, 2023. The "633" fixed toll plan took effect starting Wednesday. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Traffic at the city’s three cross-harbor tunnels was running smoothly on Wednesday, the first day of the launch of a new toll plan to triage the city’s traffic, according to Lam Sai-hung, Secretary for Transport and Logistics of the HKSAR government. 

Under the “633 toll plan”, private cars using the Western Harbour Tunnel will be charged HK$60 (about $8), while the toll is just HK$30 at the Eastern and Cross-Harbour tunnels.

Lam Sai-hung added that the ultimate goal is to implement a time-of-use pricing system for the three tunnels as soon as possible this year, so as to further ease traffic in the three tunnels

Taxis, however, only have to pay HK$25 for passing through any of the three tunnels.  Passengers who don’t board from cross-harbor taxi stands will need to pay both the outbound and return toll, which is HK$50 in total. 

READ MORE: New fixed toll system at HK harbor crossings starts Aug 2

The plan was implemented on the day that the government took over the Western Harbour Crossing after the 30-year franchise expired. 

Speaking after visiting the Western Harbour Crossing, Lam said that the number of taxis passing through the tunnel was about 50 percent higher than previously. 

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He said the diversion effect of the “633 toll plan” for taxis was obvious, as drivers can choose which tunnel to take according to traffic flow during peak hours.

HKeToll, which enables motorists to pay tunnel tolls without having to queue at the booths, will be launched at the Western Harbour Crossing from 5 am on Sunday, and at the Eastern Harbour Crossing on Aug 27. 

Lam added that the ultimate goal is to implement a time-of-use pricing system for the three tunnels as soon as possible this year, so as to further ease traffic in the three tunnels.

Contact the writer at mikegu@chinadailyhk.com