BEIJING — China’s toll highway system reported an annual loss of 66 billion yuan ($11 billion) in 2013 due to rising construction costs and high expenses.
Last year, 365 billion yuan was collected from toll highways, while expenditure stood at 431 billion yuan, a report from the Ministry of Transport (MOT) showed on Dec 23.
Much of the money — 315 billion yuan — was used to pay for bank loans and interest payments last year. Another 39 billion yuan was spent on highway maintenance, 45.7 billion yuan went to operations and management.
Li Yanwu, head of the highway bureau at the MOT, said construction and maintenance costs had been on the rise for years. It cost 90.8 million yuan to build one kilometer of expressway in 2013, up from 50.7 million yuan in 2011.
Li said reform of toll highway construction and management would improve services. More will be done to attract private investment.
China’s toll highways reached 156,500 km by the end of 2013, with 100,400 km being expressways. Currently, toll highways account for 3.6 percent of all roads in the country.
Li said China will further reduce the proportion of toll highways in the network to 3 percent in the future.