The first toll roads appeared in Russia back in 1999, and motorists gradually got used to them. As we are accustomed to the fact that travel on them is gradually becoming more and more expensive.
A photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN
WITH A BREED YES WITH A WALLET
The Ministry of Transport did not waste time on trifles and proposed to increase the maximum fare on toll roads from 3 to 5 rubles per 1 km for passenger cars. And for trucks, the price may rise from 9.5 to 14.25 rubles per kilometer. This applies to already existing state roads. At the same time, on toll roads built from scratch (for example, the Central Ring Road around the capital or the Moscow-Kazan highway), the ministry wants to set a price of 8 rubles for cars and up to 25 rubles for trucks.
The first toll roads appeared in Russia back in 1999, and motorists gradually got used to them. As accustomed to the fact that travel on them is gradually becoming more and more expensive. The prices set in 2016 are currently in effect.
But in reality, motorists pay more. The fact is that the government “allows” the annual indexation of fares for toll roads operated by the State Company Avtodor. And this is the majority of toll roads in Russia. Indexation is tied to inflation. True, it was not held annually. As the government allows.
After all these indexations, the fare on the Avtodor toll highway is about 4 rubles per 1 km for cars and 11.5 rubles for trucks. However, the amounts may vary depending on the season, time of day, whether the motorist has a transponder (sensor for contactless fare payment), etc.
Why does the Ministry of Transport want to raise tariffs? The explanation is standard: because everything is becoming more expensive, and the cost of building roads, according to officials, has increased by an average of 12% since the beginning of last year.
Now the draft government decree is posted on the portal of regulatory legal acts. This means that the stage of public discussions of this proposal is underway.
“I HOPE THE INITIATIVE WILL NOT PASS”
Many experts believe that now is not the best time to increase prices. After all, the sanctions have seriously hit the road transport industry. And in general, the well-being of Russians is confidently moving, as evil and sharp tongues say, into a stage of negative growth.
– The Ministry of Transport already came up with this initiative several months ago, which caused a very negative public outcry. But now they are again bringing this issue into the sphere of public discussion, – says Anton Shaparin, vice-president of the National Automobile Union. – However, the argumentation of the Ministry of Transport that the cost of construction of roads has increased is clearly weak. In 2019, the Higher School of Economics estimated the cost of building 1 km of roads in Russia at 58 million rubles, and in China – only 13 million rubles. Maybe there is something wrong with our construction? ..
In addition, according to the expert, for some reason the Ministry of Transport does not understand that our toll roads are already underloaded, because for ordinary consumers, travel on them is too expensive. The highways need to be saturated with cars, and the increase in price, on the contrary, will make travel on them even more inaccessible.
– Highway M11 Moscow – St. Petersburg – half empty, M4 “Don” – too, – says Anton Shaparin. – You go along them and you understand that it would be cheaper by plane. In any case, if you are traveling alone or together, and not in a company. In addition, for some reason, the Ministry of Transport does not want to take into account the specifics of the moment. You can talk about raising fees when the economy is on the rise, but in our country it is falling. Why increase the fee against such a background? And this will obviously lead to a noticeable increase in prices for all goods. Although we seem to be fighting inflation. I hope that this initiative will be stopped.
From capital to capital, you can quickly go broke
At current prices, the road from Moscow to St. Petersburg along the M11 toll highway will cost the driver of a passenger car about 2,750 rubles (excluding fuel costs). But this is on average. On certain days and hours, the fee can be up to 3200 rubles.
The fact is that the M11 highway is served not only by Avtodor. The head section of the Moscow – St. Petersburg highway to Solnechnogorsk (from km 15 to km 58) is operated not by the state, but by a private organization – North-Western Concession Company LLC. And the passage through this section on Friday from 16.00 to 22.00 and on Saturday from 10.00 to 16.00 will cost 1000 rubles – that is, 23 rubles per kilometer! At night, the price is lower – 350 rubles, and the usual tariff on weekdays is 650 rubles. All the same, it is very expensive, and experienced motorists advise driving this distance on a free road – although it takes longer, the savings are significant.
Another 567 “paid” kilometers (from 58th to 149th and from 208th to 684th) can be driven along the section of the highway, which is administered by the state company Avtodor. Now travel through these sections costs from 2,090 to 2,200 rubles, depending on the day of the week.
If the fee rises to 5 rubles, then the fare on the Avtodorovsky section will be approximately 2,800 rubles. And if you use the paid section of the highway to Solnechnogorsk, then you will have to pay for the trip from 3150 rubles (if you go at night) to 3800 rubles (if you go on Friday evening or Saturday afternoon). On weekdays, the fee will be about 3450 rubles.
Add to this amount the cost of gasoline (3000-3500 rubles), and it turns out that you can comfortably drive a car along the paid M11 in case of an increase in the fare for 6500-7000 rubles.