Operator confirms enforcement of Manado-Bitung toll road tariff soon

Operator confirms enforcement of Manado-Bitung toll road tariff soon

Manado-Bitung toll road. (ANTARA/HO)

Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The Manado-Bitung toll road operator hinted that the toll road tariff will shortly be enforced at the 26.35-kilometer-long Manado-Danowudu toll road section inaugurated by President Joko Widodo on Sept 29.

"The toll road tariff will be enforced after the Public Works and Housing Ministry has issued the rate," President Director of PT Jasa Marga Manado-Bitung George Manurung was quoted as saying by ANTARA in Manado, North Sulawesi Province, on Thursday.

Manurung remarked that over the past 21 days following its official inauguration, an average of 8,107 vehicles daily passed through the toll road, with the highest figure recorded at 10,571 on Oct 10.

The toll road operator recorded that 170,251 vehicles passed through the toll road section, which was lower than expected. This condition might be related to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic situation that restricted movement of people and freight. Another factor might be related to the reluctance of several drivers to purchase e-money cards.

Manurung appealed to all drivers to ensure that their e-toll cards had sufficient balance before passing through a toll gate.

In his earlier press statement, Manurung also urged toll road users to steer clear from speeding and maintain discipline on the roads by being heedful of traffic signs.

The 26.35-km-long Manado-Danowudu toll road section is part of the 40-km-long Manado-Bitung toll road. It will be completed with five toll gates: Manado, Airmadidi, Kauditan, Danowudu, and Bitung.

President Joko Widodo expressed strong belief that the Manado Bitung toll road, scheduled to be completed in June 2021, would reduce the Bitung International Seaport's logistics costs and boost North Sulawesi's industrial competitiveness.

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"The presence of this toll road will reduce logistics costs from the Bitung International Seaport, thereby making it more efficient," President Widodo (Jokowi) remarked while inaugurating the Manado-Danowudu toll road section on Sept 29.

President Jokowi affirmed that the toll road will enhance industrial competitiveness of North Sulawesi Province since it will enable to expedite development of the economic hub in the Bitung Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The head of state emphasized this point as an opportunity for the North Sulawesi provincial government to attract more investors to the Bitung SEZ.

The Manado-Bitung toll road will additionally increase connectivity, open road access to the strategic tourism zone of Manado-Bitung-Likupang and to Lembeh Island, as well as help new business activities thrive to facilitate the creation of more job opportunities, he stated.

Jokowi highlighted the vast economic development potential of North Sulawesi.

The president drew attention to the fishery industry in Bitung and other sectors, such as agriculture, plantation, and tourism, which can be further developed.

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