Tourism January 28, 2015 | 8:38 am

Sectors fume as Santo Domingo-Samana highway hikes tolls

Santo Domingo.- The tolls on the Santo Domingo-Monte Plata-Samana highway were raised since Tuesday, sparking complaints from merchants, truckers, community leaders and ecotourism promoters in northeastern provinces.

With higher tolls figure the plazas of Marbella from 53 to 55 pesos, Naranjal, 174 to 179, Guaraguao, 204 to 210 and EL Catey 507 to 522, for a total of 28 pesos. The new cost for a one way is now RD$966, or RD$1,932 roundtrip.

Rebuke for the hikes was immediate as organizations from Monte Plata and Samana question how their territories could develop with "the most expensive toll in the country," which they affirm will cut the flow of visitors.

"The people make the economy and if there’re no visitors there can be no growth, because the managers of the road up the toll whenever they want to on a whim, while the government doesn’t intervene and that’s abuse," said Monte Plata Province Ecotourism Association vice president Miguel Gonzalez.

Monte Plata Development of Foundation president Yddar de los Santos also criticized the toll increases as “exaggerated” and warned that the area’s ecotourism businesses will meet to discuss the issue urgently, with protests if necessary, to put a stop to the situation which he affirms has been enforced without any explanation.

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