SHB Tolling

This oral history was based on 19 hours of digitally recorded interviews with 11 people who have been involved in all aspects of tolling – toll collectors, supervisors and managers, technicians and engineers.

It discusses the evolution of tolling on Sydney’s icon - from the early days of collectors standing on platforms exposed to the weather, to the construction of fixed and movable toll booths, the introduction of one-way tolling, tokens, vouchers and automatic cash payment, to the arrival of electronic ETag technology and the bridge going cashless. The story includes both the human and technical aspects of toll collection and administration - issues not generally well understood by the travelling public.

The MP3 sound files in the table below feature some of the key themes explored in this project. Compiled MP3 excerpts from previous oral histories may also be accessed on Roads and Maritime Services website, in the subject selection box on the right side of this screen.

The opinions expressed in the oral history interview tapes are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent in whole or in part the position of Roads and Maritime Services.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Tolling


Part 1

Introduction / Toll Fees / Evasion Strategies / Toll Plaza Changes / 1940s Traffic Growth

Part 2

Tram Track Conversion / New Toll Booths & Cabin Safety / Beginnings of Electronic Toll Registration

Part 3

1960s and 1970s Burgeoning Traffic / Automatic Coin Collection / One-way Tolling / Movable Toll Cabins / Prepaid Toll Tokens / First Computer-based Toll Registration System

Part 4

Rising Tolls - 1990s / Sydney Harbour Tunnel and Tolling / Electronic Tolling Pilot / Challenges with Changeover to e-Tolling / Time of Day Tolling

Part 5

Staffing Roles and Personal Reflections / Rostering / Shifts / Toll Collector's Routine

Part 6

Counting the Daily Cash Takings / Theft & Robbery / Challenges & Dangers of Toll Collecting / Safety Issues

Part 7

Delights of the Job / Toll Fee Changes / Staff & Change to Cashless System / Union Role / Voluntary Redundancy & Redeployment / Memories

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