Tolls on DF-Toluca highway to be cut 40%

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Mexico's transport and communications ministry (SCT) will slash the toll charges on the Mexico City-Toluca highway by 40% at the end of this month in preparation for a financial restructuring of the concession, the ministry announced.

At end-April, the 80-peso (US$7.28) toll fee for the 21km stretch of road will be reduced to 50 pesos, resulting in a saving of 350mn pesos per year and boosting traffic between the two cities from the current daily average of 31,000 vehicles.

The drop in the toll responds to a long-term demand from users to cut the cost of using the road and will stimulate economic activity by lowering transport costs between the capital of the republic and the capital of Mexico state (Edomex), said Oscar de Buen, director of highway development at the SCT.

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The price cut will also help ensure the development of Toluca international airport as an alternative to the overloaded Mexico City international airport (AICM), not to mention helping to reduce heavy congestion on the freeway between the two cities.

To reduce the toll, the SCT and the road concessionaire, Tribasa subsidiary Promotora y Administradora de Carreteras (PACSA), with the help of the finance ministry (SHCP) and financial sector, have extended the length of the concession from 2013 to 2030.

The US$320mn bonds issued to support the highway construction will be paid off now instead of in 2013 as previously planned and new paper will be released. The new paper will pay returns until 2025 and could be issued this week.

The bonds will be backed by the toll income of the highway, which last year totaled 862mn pesos.