Abu Dhabi toll gate: No fees during off-peak hours

Abu Dhabi toll gate: No fees during off-peak hours
Abu Dhabi toll gate: No fees during off-peak hours

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The plan was to charge Dh2 for off-peak hours and holidays. Now, even on Fridays and public holidays, no toll will be charged.

When charges take effect on January 2, 2020, motorists will be able to pass through Abu Dhabi toll gates for free during off-peak hours, according to the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), which announced the latest changes to the system on Sunday.

Drivers need to pay Dh4 only during the peak hours - from 7am to 9am and from 5pm to 7pm, Saturday to Thursday - when they pass through the Sheikh Zayed Bridge, the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, Al Maqta Bridge, and Musaffah Bridge.

Initially, the plan was to charge Dh2 for off-peak hours and holidays. Now, even on Fridays and public holidays, no toll will be charged.

The cap on daily charges remains unchanged at Dh16 per vehicle and a maximum of Dh200 per month.

Many residents were relieved upon learning about the latest update.

Jojo Philip, a private sector employee, said the "unexpected twist in the toll saga" has made him rethink many plans.

"Just when we were all thinking about additional expenses from January, the department has given us an option. Now, more motorists will try to use the bridges past 9am, which will naturally lead to less traffic during peak hours. I was actually considering moving to Musaffah but I will hold off plans till February. Let's see how much I will have to spend."

Siby Kadavil, a sales executive, described the move as an early Christmas present, which will save him a few bucks.

"I have to travel a lot to meet clients. Now, I can plan my meetings accordingly," he said.

A resident, Denzil Pinto, also welcomed the decision.

"There is no way you can escape paying toll if you are travelling out of the city on holidays. So this is great for families and friends who wish to go out on weekend to and Al Ain. Moreover, toll gate hours will ensure better planning by motorists and ease traffic during rush hour."

However, other residents ­- like Vyshagh M.V. who is a private sector employee - said the free off-peak toll won't help him much because of office attendance requirements.

"We have a punch-in and punch-out system for attendance and our work hours are monitored. So, I need to be there by 8am and leave by 5pm. So I will pay toll on both occasions as I travel from Hamdan area in the city. I may also look at the option of trying out public transport."

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Ashwani Kumar

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