Surcharges, license plate limits and fast lanes proposed to ease traffic during 2020 Tokyo Olympics


Three options, including a surcharge, have been proposed to ease traffic jams on Tokyo-area expressways during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

The remaining two options under consideration are to limit access based on license plate numbers and the use of high-occupancy lanes for vehicles with at least one passenger.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the games’ organizing committee presented the ideas at a meeting of a panel of experts on Wednesday.

The metropolitan government, the organizing committee and the central government will examine the measures in terms of the levels of their expected benefits and possible challenges. A conclusion will likely be reached by the end of this year.

The central government hopes to curb the use of private cars during the games to allow vehicles related to the events to travel with ease. Delivery trucks would not be subject to any of the proposed measures.

The surcharge option would require a revamp of toll collection equipment, a process that would likely take several months.

The license plate and high-occupancy lane systems were proposed by the International Olympic Committee, sources said. If adopted, fines would be imposed on violators.

Congestion on metropolitan expressways is expected to increase twofold during the games unless measures to mitigate traffic are implemented.

The metropolitan government and the organizing committee have set a goal of reducing traffic volume in central Tokyo during the games by some 15 percent from the levels on regular weekdays.