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Drive into Guangdong with your smart card
Latest Updated by 2006-08-04 11:42:02
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Motorists from Hong Kong can enjoy travelling to Guangdong Province without having to pay tolls in cash, for they can do so through their smart cards from later this month.

As part of Hong Kong-Guangdong cooperation to improve logistical and transport efficiency, Autotoll and Guangdong-based Unitoll have devised a mechanism that would enable Hongkongers to use their smart cards for toll payments on the neighbouring province's major highways and roads.

About 210,000 drivers use Autotoll cards to pay tolls in Hong Kong and now they can do so even in Guangdong without taking the trouble of having to carry small change in renminbi.

The system will incorporate all the transactions in the card-holders' monthly statements, saving the two companies the need to go through large numbers of receipts, Autotoll Chief Executive Officer Paul Cheng said yesterday. It will simplify administrative work too.

"Compared to the past, when a driver had to stop his vehicle, pay the toll and wait for the change and receipt, he would now just have to give his card to the toll collector for quick system verification, retrieve the card and be on his way, reducing transaction time to a matter of seconds," he said.

According to government statistics there are more than 50,000 registered cross-border vehicles. And this number is expected to increase with the continued rise of traffic between the two places, he said. The Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor, to be opened next year, too will boost that number.

Guangdong has always been the first choice of Hong Kong investors when it comes to setting up manufacturing plants or buying new properties, he said.

The card service could be expanded to all toll roads and to the domain of small-amount transactions if it was widely accepted, Cheng said.

The company has already sent the updated card to the 210,000 users. After receiving the card, the users can register on its website (

The mainland still needs to tackle some technical problems before the card is fully ready.

Apart from providing electronic toll collection service, the companies also aim to extend the card's functions to other driving-related service transactions, such as fuel purchase, auto repair, auto insurance, towing service, emergency auto service and car-parking charges.

Card-holders enjoy some privileges too, including discount in fuel prices at Hong Kong Caltex petrol stations and year-round shopping offers at more than 100 companies' outlets.

Editor: Yan

By: Teddy Ng Source: China Daily Website
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