A trip on the mega bridge connecting Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau will cost 150 yuan (HK$177) in a private car and between 60 and 115 yuan for trucks and lorries, according to two largely identical proposals by mainland authorities.
The only difference between the two toll schemes would be the fee for cross-border coaches, which could be either 200 or 450 yuan.
A public hearing will be held later this month to take in views from the relevant trades before a final decision is made ahead of the bridge’s commissioning next year.
As the main bridge stretches over Guangdong waters, charges will be bound by the mainland’s Regulation on the Administration of Toll Roads.
While Hong Kong and Macau authorities have shared their views with a joint task force, the Guangdong government will have the final say on the tolls.
On Wednesday, a notice released by the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission confirmed the levels for different types of vehicles.
Like private cars, hire cars will be charged 150 yuan. Operators of shuttle buses, which serve passengers between the three boundary crossing facilities of Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau, will have to pay 450 yuan for each journey.
But a final decision has yet to be made regarding cross-bounder coaches. Such vehicles are popular among travellers who favour point-to-point services, as they offer a range of destinations in different cities.
A relatively low toll has been set for freight vehicles – 60 yuan for trucks, and 115 yuan for lorries.
Stanley Chaing Chi-wai, chairman of Lok Ma Chau China-Hong Kong Freight Association, said the charges were “quite generous” to the industry.
“They’re even lower than the toll set for private cars, so I think it’s reasonable,” he said.
Currently a trip to the western part of Guangdong province could involve a 400km drive and more than 400 yuan in highway tolls, Chaing said, so the bridge would not only cut travel times but would also save drivers money and fuel.
A hearing will be held on December 21, with representatives from the three cities invited to give their views.
Using a 30-year toll model, operation of the 55km link would cost 2.2 billion yuan annually, based on a traffic flow of 20.7 million vehicles.
Mainland authorities announced last month that an additional 10 billion yuan was needed to cover a budget overrun, with the Hong Kong government expected to foot half the bill.
According to records, the government has already invested more than HK$110 billion in the project, which also includes connecting roads in the city and an artificial island housing border crossing facilities.