Transport Minister willing to examine ‘cash-only’ toll policy on highway

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Transport Minister Mike Henry says he is willing to examine the ‘cash-only’ policy of the Chinese operators of the North-South leg of the Highway 2000 network, in respect of toll costs for the use of the highway.

This followed the recent experience of South East St Ann Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna, who was reportedly stranded at a toll plaza along the highway after realizing that she had less cash than the required toll amount.

Hanna reportedly had $2,000 in cash, but the applicable toll cost was $2,450.

Her request to use a debit or credit card to cover the amount was rejected at the toll booth.

“Cash only … but why if you have a credit/debit card machine you won’t accept credit card/debit payments for the toll? I had to wait for someone to drive from Kingston To Caymanas toll with $450 because unless you have cash or US$, the Chinese will not let you through,” Hanna said on Instagram.

Henry said if it is formally brought to his attention, he will have the matter examined to establish the best option or options going forward.

While noting that it is a primary responsibility of motorists to ensure that they have enough cash to meet the respective toll costs for use of the highways, similarly to how they have to ensure they have adequate petrol and their vehicles are in roadworthy conditions, the minister said the development is of public interest because “it is something that could happen to many people”.

Only Jamaican or United States currencies are allowed for payment along the North-South Highway, which extends from Caymanas in St Catherine to Mammee Bay outside Ocho Rios in St Ann.

Watch the video to hear Hanna’s comments on the toll policy.