Chile's public works ministry (MOP) and concessionaires association Copsa have reached an agreement to implement the TAG electronic toll collection device on all of Chile's concessioned highways by 2014.
The decision will allow drivers to activate the device, currently used only in capital Santiago, for use on all highways operated by private firms in northern, central and southern Chile.
Users will be given the option of signing an agreement with highway concessionaires to activate their TAGS. At the same time, special lanes will be set aside for TAG users along the concessioned highways, MOP said in a release.
"This is the first time we have an agreement with specific issues. We have established a schedule," said Copsa president Herman Chadwick, adding that the firms expect to implement the system within the timeline established by MOP.
Under the new system, concessioned highways will have "non-stop" lanes for light vehicles using a TAG device and "stop and go" lanes for light and heavy vehicles, including buses and trucks.
The system will help concessionaires reduce traffic on highways, particularly during holidays. While a manual toll system can handle up to 250 users per hour, non-stop systems can handle up to 1,250 users in the same amount of time.
The integrated TAG system should be fully operative before the end of the government of President Sebastian Piñera, whose term ends in March 2014.