Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Commuters struggle to register for new Abu Dhabi road tolls

Drivers say a problem with text message confirmation codes means they cannot sign up

Drivers will not have to pay for passing through Abu Dhabi's four road toll gates until January 1. Victor Besa / The National
Drivers will not have to pay for passing through Abu Dhabi's four road toll gates until January 1. Victor Besa / The National

Transport officials assured drivers they will not be hit with fines yet after motorists struggled to register for Abu Dhabi's new road roll system.

In a series of tweets to queries online, the Department of Transport assured drivers there is a 10-day grace period in which no fines will be handed out, allowing time for problems signing-up to be resolved. Customer service centre staff reiterated the same when The National called.

Commuters from outside the emirate should register for the service on a website before Tuesday 15 October.

The system accepted it but sent the code to an old phone number that I cancelled eight years ago - who knows where they got it from

Mohammad Kaddoura, Dubai commuter

But many said a problem with a text message confirmation system means they cannot complete the sign-up.

Once they register on DoT's website, drivers should receive a code allowing them to complete the process. Many said the message never came. Officials have not yet commented on the apparent problem.

Abu Dhabi residents - who do not need to sign up - are already in a registration database but are waiting for messages from police to explain how they pay for the toll charge.

Mohammad Kaddoura, a business manager from Dubai, tried to register his car and his wife car this week.

“Both cars carry a Dubai number plate,” said the 39-year-old Palestinian.

“First I tried to register my wife’s car, which is under my name, and the system kept telling me the plate number is invalid.

“Then I tried the second car. The system accepted it but sent the code to an old phone number that I cancelled eight years ago - who knows where they got it from.”

He tried adjusting the application by entering his new number in the system, but it continued to send the code to the old number.

Mr Kaddoura only travels to Abu Dhabi about five times a year.

"But I want to register now to avoid any sudden fines, what if I had to drive there for an emergency?

“It is better to be safe than sorry.”

What are the new road charges?

The new tolls are a cashless system similar to the Salik system in Dubai, in which drivers are charged every time they travel through a designated point.

Where are the gates located?

Four toll gates are located on all bridges to Abu Dhabi island - Saadiyat, Maqta, Mussaffah and Sheikh Khalifa bridges.

How much do they cost?

Drivers will be charged Dh4 during peak periods – 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm, Saturday to Thursday. A Dh2 off-peak fee applies outside these times, as well as on Fridays and public holidays. There is some good news for frequent users as maximum daily charges are capped at Dh16.

How do I pay the tolls?

Drivers with vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi before October 15 will be automatically registered without any charges. Users will receive a text message on their mobile with the account details. Any vehicle registered in Abu Dhabi after that date must be registered by the motorist who pays a charge of Dh100 - Dh50 fee and Dh50 to be credited to the account. Non-Abu Dhabi motorists must also pay a Dh100 charge to register.

What if I pass through a gate without credit?

You must pay within five working days, and if you do not pay, you will receive a notice of a fine. Vehicles registered within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi do not have to have credit in their account and can pay at time of renewal of the vehicle. Vehicles from other emirates must be registered in order to avoid violations.

How do I register in the toll system?

Users must log onto this website and have their Emirates ID number and licence plate details to hand. They they can use their debit or credit cards to pay the tolls. But some have said they experienced difficulties registering online.

Why are the tolls being introduced?

Transport chiefs believe the move will cut congestion by six per cent during peak times and spur people to use public transport. It is also hoped to encourage people to carpooling and alternative modes of transport that are better for the environment.

Are any vehicles exempt?

Some vehicles are exempt such as ambulances, buses, motorbikes, taxis and electric vehicles for two years from October 18.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Department of Transport website or call 80088888

Updated: October 10, 2019 06:31 PM

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