Online motorway vignette sales system to cost over CZK 400 million

dalnicni_znamka_2019.jpg

A planned online system to sell permits to use the Czech Republic’s motorways will cost around CZK 401 million, not including value-added tax, over a four-year period, the Czech News Agency reported.

Electronic vignettes are set to be introduced next year, replacing the present paper ones. However, experts have warned that 12 months may prove insufficient time to prepare for this change.

The company Asseco Central Europe won the tender to operate the online store and mobile application via which motorists will be able to purchase and verify new electronic vignettes until the end of 2024.

It will also offer a call centre that customers can use if they encounter problems.

The head of the Algotech cloud services company, Petr Loužecký, told the Czech News Agency that moving the vignette sales and administration system online was a good idea as it would make life easier for motorists.

However, Mr. Loužecký said that the system was likely to be swamped when it goes live. Neither the technology nor security aspects of the project can be underestimated, he said.

The cloud specialist said the planned call centre ironing out initial teething problems would be of great importance, adding that from this perspective it was a good idea for one company to run the e-vignette sales system for at least four years.

The state divided the entire motorway e-vignette system into several parts, with creating and operating an online store and app being the first area where an operator has been chosen. Asseco Central Europe got that job without a public tender.

A tender procedure for another deal, to run sales points for e-vignettes, is close to completion.

The State Fund for Transport Infrastructure has selected an as yet unidentified supplier and unsuccessful bidders now have an opportunity to contest the awarding of the contract. The state agency is choosing a winner on the basis of price.

Electronic vignettes will completely replace existing paper coupons with state officials saying the switch will help reduce the cost of operating the system.

Photo: Jiří Komárek, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
The e-stamps will be linked to the license plate of a car. Unlike present practice, annual passes will be valid for 365 days and will not be tied to the calendar year.

Similar systems are already in use in such states as Slovakia and Hungary, though both paper and electronic vignettes are valid in Austria.

Paid toll vouchers have been in place in the Czech Republic since 1995, while electronic vignettes for trucks were launched in 2007.

When the new system comes in next year tolls will be the same as at present. It currently costs CZK 1,500 for an annual vignette, CZK 440 for a monthly one and CZK 310 for a 10-day one.

In 2018 the state collected CZK 5.16 billion in motorway tolls.