By Gokhan Ergocun
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey earned 1.46 billion Turkish liras ($387 million) in tolls from two bridges on the Istanbul Strait as well as toll roads in 2017, according to data released Wednesday by the state Highways Directorate.
The July 15 Martyrs' Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, both spanning the Bosphorus and connecting Europe and Asia, together yielded around 362.32 million liras ($96.2 million), while toll highways throughout Turkey earned almost 1.09 billion liras ($290 million) last year, according to the data.
The figures say that over 458 million vehicles paid tolls to use the facilities in the same period. Drivers in Turkey used to pay 7 liras ($1.85) for the bridge tolls, with higher fees for vehicles with more than two axles. On Jan. 1, Istanbul Strait bridge tolls rose to 8.75 liras ($2.32).
Last December, nearly 47 million vehicles used Turkey’s toll bridges and toll roads, paying a total of nearly 124.9 million liras ($33.18 million).
In 2016, 417 million vehicles used Turkey’s toll bridges and roads, paying a total of 1.2 billion liras ($318.81 million). On the Istanbul Strait, the bridge toll at that time was 4.75 liras ($1.26) per passage.