Motorists say Highway 7 tolls hard on locals

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Pattaya-area motorists are complaining that new Highway 7 tolls set to go into effect next year are unfairly expensive for short commutes.
Pattaya-area motorists are complaining that new Highway 7 tolls set to go into effect next year are unfairly expensive for short commutes.

Pattaya-area motorists are complaining that new Highway 7 tolls set to go into effect next year are unfairly expensive for short commutes.

The five new toll booths on the Bangkok-Chonburi motorway were supposed to have been completed in August. They are located in Ban Bung, Bangpra, Nongkham, Pong, and Pattaya.

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Rates will be one baht per kilometer driven, with the cost from Pattaya to Chonburi remaining 60 baht until April 18, when the toll will jump to 105 baht for cars, 170 baht for six-wheeled vehicles and 245 baht for 10-wheel trucks.

Motorists will pay 1 baht per kilometer, which also has motorists in an uproar, saying they’ve always been able to travel short distances for free on the motorway.

Wilawan Khamjun of Laem Chabang said the motorway has made life easier for many travelers but once the tolls take effect, it may not be worth it any longer to use the motorway.

She said she knows the highway cost a lot to build and maintain, but she those who set the toll rates didn’t consider how locals use the roadway.

Siwaporn Wanasai of Nong Plalai said it makes sense to pay tolls since the highway is easy, quick and convenient. But she noted residents are used to not paying for traveling short distances. She said she is withholding judgment until she sees what the cost is for traveling, for example, just within the sub-district.