Toll surcharges for Tokyo's Metropolitan Expressway may be raised in an attempt to curb traffic volume during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Japanese capital, it has been reported.
According to The Mainichi Shimbun, the increases could be between JPY ¥500 (£3.50/$4.60/€4) and JPY ¥3,000 (£21.10/$27.40/€24) if a plan prepared by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Central Government is approved.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will head-up efforts to determine the routes, hours and vehicles to be subject to the hikes.
Tokyo 2020 and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are due to present their estimates on the new Metropolitan Expressway charges today, at a meeting of experts.
The Metropolitan Expressway currently charges between JPY ¥300 (£2.10/$2.70/€2.40) and JPY ¥1,300 (£9.10/$11.90/€10.40), dependent on distance travelled for ordinary cars using the electronic toll collection system.
During Tokyo 2020, competing athletes, staff and media representatives will use the Metropolitan Expressway to move between venues and other relevant locations by bus or car.
According to informed sources of Jiji Press, the surcharges will be imposed mainly on private vehicles to allow automobiles related to the Games to travel smoothly.
Trucks, buses and taxis will be exempt from them.
There have already been warnings that there could be serious overcrowding on Tokyo’s railway stations during the Games.
The additional amount of people who are expected in the city has elevated fears about its transport system.
In a study published in August 2018, Azuma Taguchi, a professor of traffic networks at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Chuo University, said train stations near to Games venues would be severely overcrowded unless spectators were diverted to smaller stations further away from the famed subway network.
Staggered work hours has been raised as another potential solution.
Taguchi was also the author of a study in May of last year which claimed Tokyo hosting the Olympics and Paralympics could cause "fatal congestion" on the network.
Eight million people commute on around 47,000 trains operated per day in the metropolitan area.
An extra 650,000 visitors are expected in Tokyo on peak days during the Games.
The number of people using the Yurikamome unmanned train system and the Rinkai Line is likely to double as a result, the study said.