A new road charge will be rolled out in Abu Dhabi in October, transport officials said.
Four tollgates will be placed at bridges in the capital as part of an effort to slash congestion and encourage people to use more environmentally friendly forms of transport.
What is the new road charge?
It is a cashless road toll, similar to the Salik system in place in Dubai since 2007, in which drivers are charged every time they travel through a designated point.
Where will the tollgates be?
They will be placed at Al Maqta, Mussaffah, Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Khalifa bridges.
When will the scheme be introduced?
The Department of Transport said it would be launched on Tuesday, October 15.
How much will it cost?
Unlike the Salik toll, which has a flat rate of Dh4 each time you pass through a gate regardless of the time of day, there will be peak and off-peak charges for the Abu Dhabi project. Drivers will be charged Dh4 during peak periods – 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm, Saturday to Thursday. A Dh2 off-peak fee will be charged outside these times, as well as on Fridays and public holidays.
How much can I pay in a single day?
For those making several journeys, there is good news. There will be a maximum charge of Dh16 a day, regardless of how many times a driver uses the tollgate.
Can I pay using my Salik tag?
No. Although the congestion charging systems in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are similar, they operate independently of each other. Motorists passing through the seven tollgates in Dubai require a tag on their car which activates a payment each time the driver passes the toll point. There will be no such tag in the Abu Dhabi system. All Abu Dhabi-registered vehicles will be automatically registered in an online system, which went live on August 30, at no charge.
So, how will the Abu Dhabi toll work?
Drivers with vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi before October 15, 2019, will be automatically registered in the toll system without any charge. Users will receive a text message on the mobile number registered with Abu Dhabi Police, along with the account details.
Any vehicle that is registered in Abu Dhabi after that date must be registered for a Dh100 – Dh50 fee by the motorist plus a Dh50 amount to be credited to the account.
Payment of the toll fee will be made through an e-wallet, which can be topped up when necessary.
What if my car is registered outside Abu Dhabi?
Drivers must register their vehicle details in the online system in advance of the scheme coming into effect. A grace period of 10 business days will be allowed, from the crossing time, to register in the system.
Learn how to register here: Online registration scheme for Abu Dhabi road tolls goes live
Can I be fined if I don't register?
Motorists who drive through a gate without having enough credit to pay will be given five business days to top up their account. After a grace period of 10 working days, fines for unregistered vehicles using the tollgates will be Dh100 for the first day, Dh200 for the second day and Dh400 for a third day, up to a maximum of Dh10,000. Crossing a tollgate without sufficient balance in a user’s account for vehicles registered outside Abu Dhabi will be Dh50 per day.
Are there any exemptions?
Ambulances, armed forces and civil defence vehicles, public buses, motorcycles, licensed taxis, authorised schoolbuses, passenger buses carrying at least 26 passengers, police and Ministry of Interior vehicles, electric vehicles and trailers will be exempt from the tolls.
Why is the charge being introduced?
The Department of Transport said the new road charge is being introduced to reduce traffic in the city, ease congestion for commuters and encourage people to make use of more eco-friendly options such as public transport, carpooling and electric cars.