Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency has said that by the end of January 10, there will be self-service terminals selling electronic road tax stickers – known as “vignettes” – at all of the country’s border checkpoints.
Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has secured the resignations or dismissals of the agency’s head and three other top officials because of the problems and delays in implementing the system, which had been meant to take effect on January 1.
“E-vignettes” currently are on sale at more than 4000 points, including the offices of the agency, branches of Bulgarian Posts, Easy Pay offices, branches of mobile operator A1 and, as of January 9, OMV fuel stations.
Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) said that at the Kulata border checkpoint, there were three self-service terminals. Given that this is one of the busiest checkpoints, queues formed, the report said.
Because several motorists entering Bulgaria did not have debit cards to pay, district road administration officials from Blagoevgrad went to the border to offer the service against cash payments.
BNR reported that at one of the border crossings, a Customs Agency official said that since the self-service terminal had been installed, he had a “second job” showing people how to use it.
Meanwhile, the company that was the contractor for the toll system, Austria’s Kapsch, said that it had provided a fully functioning, tested and approved system.
From September 2018 onwards, Kapsch, the Road Infrastructure Agency, and the World Bank in its capacity as the adviser on the project, had tested all elements of the system, and these tests had confirmed that the system was fully operational, the firm said.
(Photo, of Bulgaria’s Maritsa Motorway: Road Infrastructure Agency)