Preparations for a GNSS-Based Tolling System in Lithuania

An overview of the plans in Lithuania for procuring a nationwide tolling system.

26 January 2021

The Lithuanian Road Administration has plans to issue a tender for the “Development of the Electronic Road Toll Information System” as early as February 2021. Lithuania wants to replace the current time-based vignette system with a distance-based electronic charging system that is more equitable. This would make Lithuania the next country in the European Union to introduce a satellite-based nationwide tolling scheme. Other countries that have successfully deployed GNSS-based tolling solutions are Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. Poland plans to follow in 2021 after it replaces its microwave-based system with a GNSS solution. 

The new nationwide tolling system in Lithuania will most likely rely on the full interoperability with the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) from the very beginning, as was the case when Belgium launched its toll system in 2016. This would enable toll road users to “bring their own device,” meaning that authorized European Toll Service Providers will make it very easy for trucks to the same EETS-compliant On Board Units (OBUs) in Lithuania that they already use in other toll domains.

The planned procurement for the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) System would mostly likely include three elements:

  • development and implementation services of the ETC System.
  • ETC System functionality and maintenance services for 5 years.
  • consulting services for ETC functionality. 

The tolled road network would include all major highways, having a total of 1,700km. A map of the road network is provided below. The time provided for system implementation is unlikely to exceed 12 months.

The new distance-based tolling scheme could also apply to all freight vehicles – even those below 3.5 tons – as well as buses having more than 8 passenger seats. In all European nationwide tolling systems until now, distance-based fees apply only to Heavy Goods Vehicles above 3.5 tons.

The tender will most likely focus on On Board Equipment software requirements, rather than on OBU hardware requirements. On Board Equipment from EETS providers should be accepted from the beginning, but a major focus on the use of smartphones is highly probable. This would be a significant step in the evolution of GNSS-based tolling systems!

At the core of the procured system would be a Customer Service Module that administers the road users, the equipment used for charging (smartphones, telematics devices, OBUs), bill payment methods, invoices, reports, and the routes travelled by the vehicles on the tolled road network. Telematic devices, in particular those used for fleet management, are already used for the satellite-based tolling systems in Hungary and in Bulgaria.

Smartphones should play a central role in detecting and declaring the use of the tolled road network. This would be the first nationwide tolling system that relies on smartphones as On Board Equipment. Poland has already announced its plans to use smartphones when it replaces its DSRC-based tolling system with a GNSS-based tolling system, but it is not yet clear when this would be implemented.

The new toll system in Lithuania would also implement the relevant European directives and regulations:

Once the tender is published, we will be able to confirm or modify the parameters that are currently assumed and provide more details about the procured tolling system in Lithuania. 

If you would like to request more details about the planning and procurement of the GNSS-based in Lithuania, contact Norbert Schindler: norbert(at)gnss-consulting.com

Map of the tolled road network in the Lithuanian ETC System