The first year of the extremely efficient E-toll system, which was introduced in record time, has become a success story as a result of cooperation between public bodies and domestic businesses, Minister for National Development Miklós Seszták said in Budapest on 30 June 2014. Heavy goods vehicles weighing in excess of 3.5 tons have had to pay a kilometre-proportionate toll to use highways in Hungary since 1 July of last year.

The measure contributes to the maintenance of the public road system and modernising development-related financing, facilitates a more equitable distribution of burdens and improves the competitive position of Hungary’s railways. The new system began operation a year after the government decision and only two and a half months following the commissioning of the work. Construction occurred in record time, because for instance the German, Austrian and Slovakian systems required 1-3 years to come into commission, Mr. Seszták pointed out.

The development of the system was not only fast, it was also cost effective: only 36 billion forints (115 million euros) of the 42 billion forint budget was used, including the cost of developing the system’s supervision. The amount saved is even more significant when compared to previous plans and the costs of similar projects in other countries: the socialist government planned to realise a similar project in a PPP construction at an estimated cost of HUF 70 billion. The operating costs per kilometre of the Slovakian system is treble that of Hungary’s new system, while the average cost of implementing and subsequently running the system for 12 years in Germany is almost five times that.

The Minister said that the technical bravado involved in introducing the new system was a testament to Hungarian innovation and expertise. The system is an open one: while in other countries it is only possible to enter the system through a single, central company, in Hungary small and medium-sized enterprises and companies with fleets of vehicles may become involved in the system on a market basis as reporting contributors.
The collection of the road toll is operating safely and efficiently, and the revenue generated during the first six months of operation this year has already exceeded expectations. Planned revenues of 75 billion forints (240 million euros) were already achieved on 22 June, and there is a good chance that the final figure will exceed HUF 79bn, Minister Seszták emphasised. It is a significant step forward that nine out of ten registered Hungarian users are already using an on-board device.

The continuous development of services means that the kilometre-proportional toll is increasingly suited to the demands of road users. The ongoing integration of e-sticker and e-toll supervision systems will soon make monitoring even more efficient. The success of the Hungarian e-toll system is proven by increasing international interest in domestic solutions.

(Ministry of National Development)