Toll booths in San José environs may close

July 11, 2008

President Oscar Arias announced recently that he intends to eliminate the tolls on the main highways leading to and from San José, the daily La Nación reported.

The four tolls in question are on the General Cañas (between San José and Alajuela), Própero Fernández (between San José and Santa Ana), Florencia del Castillo (between San José and Cartago), and Bernardo Soto (between San José and Naranjo) highways.

“Since I have seen there are less cars in San José, I made the decision to eliminate the tolls,” Arias said during a cabinet meeting last Friday in Alvarado de Cartago. “This will cost the Finance Ministry some 4.50 billion colones (about $8.62 million). The treasury will lose, but I told doña Karla (González, the Public Works and Transportation minister) that the money will be compensated.”

Traffic in San José has dropped in recent weeks as a result of driving restrictions imposed during rush hours. These restrictions were expanded last Thursday to 13 hours a day between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Arias did not say how the lost revenues would be compensated or when he would sign a presidential decree eliminating the tolls.

Arias also stated he is considering activating the inter-sectoral bus routes through a decree. Said routes would directly link several of the metropolitan area´s outlying districts and nearby suburbs. The original June 6 launch of the routes was jettisoned after the Transport Administrative Tribunal ruled that transport officials acted “irrationally” in awarding contracts for the plan to MPT S.A., a consortium made up of 34 companies.

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