The party is over for riders in Melbourne with CityLink whacking tolls for motorcycles and scooters on all their roads from January 1.
The move after 14 years of free tolls seems a retrograde step for traffic congestion, parking and emissions.
However, it’s not all bad news with motorcycles and scooters paying half the price of car tolls.
CityLink Media spokeswoman Suzanne Waddell says about 3000 motorcycle trips a day are recorded on CityLink and she expects that to drop by as much as half when the tolls are introduced.
However, she says the increase in traffic congestion in surrounding streets will be “negligible” as motorcycles are only about 1% of toll traffic.
About 14 years ago, CityLink became the first road toll private company in Australia to introduce electronic tolling.
“At that time our system wasn’t able to do the rear licence plate imaging, so the decision was made not to toll motorcycles,” Suzanne says.
“With the upgrade in technology, we can now do it.”
Riders will need to either add their rego number to a current account, create a new one, or buy a casual user product such as a CityLink Pass for CityLink only or a Melbourne Pass for both CityLink and EastLink.
The latter has always charged for motorcycles and scooters, so if you have an account with them, you need do nothing.
As in other states, riders do not need an e-TAG as video recognition technology will pick up your plate. Unlike cars, there is no charge for the image processing.
At least Melbourne still has free parking on footpaths … but for how long?