Frequently Asked Questions
ConnectEast Group is the concessionaire for EastLink. Under its Concession Deed with the State of Victoria, ConnectEast is contracted to finance, design and construct EastLink and then operate it as toll road until 2043. ConnectEast is committed to protecting the environment and strengthening local communities along the EastLink corridor.
EastLink comprises 45 kilometres of freeway standard road connecting the city's eastern and south-eastern suburbs (including the untolled Ringwood and Dandenong bypasses). It connects the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne's east to the Frankston Freeway in the south-east. EastLink is Melbourne's second fully-electronic tollway.
Peninsula Link is the 27km freeway that connects the south end of EastLink to the north end of the Mornington Peninsula Fwy (that runs from Mt Martha to Rosebud). This means there is now nearly 100km of motorway (and no traffic lights) from Hoddle St in Collingwood to Rosebud.
Motorists are not charged to use Peninsula Link. Although Peninsula Link has been funded, built, and operated by a private company (the Southern Way consortium), the specific Public Private Partnership arrangements means that there will be no tolls to pay.
The Southern Way consortium owns and operates Peninsula Link. Peninsula Link has its own traffic control room and incident response arrangements. The Peninsula Link and EastLink traffic control rooms co-ordinate with each other to ensure the shared interchange operates efficiently and safely.
Peninsula Link will see travel time savings of up to 40 minutes at peak times, large volumes of traffic taken off the Frankston Fwy, Moorooduc Hwy and Nepean Hwy along with reduced traffic congestion.
More than 325,000 customer accounts have been opened and more than 574,000 ConnectEast electronic tags are now active. There is now a total of more than 2 million tags active in the Melbourne marketplace (including CityLink).
EastLink is one of Australia’s safest roads. EastLink has had around one third of the rate of accidents resulting in injury experienced on comparable freeways in Victoria and about one tenth of the rate of casualty accidents on the nearby Springvale and Stud roads. We believe this is due to our road design, advanced safety systems and rapid incident response teams, as well as the proactive policing by Victoria Police.
The tunnels have been designed with driver safety as the highest priority. The safety systems meet the standards required by emergency services authorities and regular maintenance is conducted. The casualty accident rate for the EastLink tunnels for the three year period since EastLink opened (up to 30 June 2011) is less than one (0.8) per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled.
The key features of the emergency system include:
• Automatic incident detection
• Deluge system for fire suppression
• Radio rebroadcast and PA systems
• Smoke management exhaust system – using jet fans
• Heat detectors
• Overhead warning message signs and emergency lighting
• Help telephones and mobile telephone coverage
• 14 cross passages between the two tunnels every 120 metres to provide immediate access
• Lane closure and variable speed signs.
ConnectEast customers can purchase a Breeze tag for EastLink, which is also compatible with all other tollways in Australia including CityLink. ConnectEast has ensured its tolling system is fully compatible with existing toll systems so no-one in Australia needs more than one tag account to use any Australian tollway.
EastLink provides 39km of safe freeway travel between Mitcham and Frankston. The total trip takes less than half an hour. A trip in peak periods using Springvale Rd could take at least double the time with dozens of traffic lights and level crossings.
EastLink is the key north-south link through south-east metropolitan Melbourne. The geographic corridor has 43 per cent of Melbourne's population and produces 40 per cent of Victoria's manufacturing output.
More than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs were generated during the entire EastLink construction phase. ConnectEast now employs more than 250 people itself, with many of these living in the local area.
ConnectEast opened the $2.5 billion motorway to Victorians on 29 June 2008 – on-budget and many months ahead of time. ConnectEast offered a four week toll-free period so that as many people as possible could experience first-hand the motorway and the benefits it provides.
There are 17 interchanges between Mitcham and Frankston with access to EastLink including: Springvale Rd, Ringwood Bypass, Maroondah Highway, Canterbury Rd, Boronia Rd, Burwood Highway, High Street Rd, Ferntree Gully Rd, Wellington Rd, Police Rd, Monash Freeway, Princes Highway, Cheltenham Rd, Dandenong Bypass, Greens Rd, Thompson Rd and the Frankston Freeway.
It takes on average approximately half an hour to complete the full 39km journey along EastLink between Mitcham and Frankston. Since EastLink opened, ConnectEast has commissioned travel time surveys along the full length of EastLink, Springvale Road and Stud Road showing EastLink users saved on average between 23 and 26 minutes from their overall journey.
EastLink have the lowest tolls per kilometre of any private toll road in Australia and has added significant capacity to the existing road network. No surrounding roads were closed.
Since EastLink opened, VicRoads research suggests EastLink has attracted motorists away from congested local roads such as Springvale and Stud roads by between 20 and 30 per cent and helped improve traffic flow.
Yes, motorcycles are subject to tolls.
Motorcycle tolls are 50% of the car toll.
Motorcycles won't use tags. Instead, motorcyclists will need a non-tag account or a trip pass.
If you have a car and a motorcycle, you'll be able to have a tag account, with one tag for your car, and link the number plate details of your motorcycle to the same tag account.
Motorcycles won't be charged the video image processing fee that is usually charged in addition to the toll for each non-tag trip on EastLink.
For more details, visit eastlink.com.au.
Our advanced electronic tolling system allows car customers to take advantage of discounts including a discount of 20 per cent for travel at weekends and on public holidays and a discount of 20 per cent for (non-public holiday) weekday trips that comprise a single toll zone (except the tunnel section). These single zone trips are ideal for school pick-ups and local shopping trips.
Tunnel construction and maintenance are significantly more expensive than building and maintaining open roads and the higher tolls for this part of EastLink reflect this. There are a number of safety measures integrated into the design and construction of the tunnels in accordance with the standards required by emergency service authorities.
ConnectEast signed a contract with the State of Victoria in 2004 that will see it operate EastLink until 2043.
EastLink tolls are capped at the annual inflation rate. EastLink's tolls only change on July 1 each year, based on the annual change in the CPI up to the previous December 31. What this means is that in real terms people will essentially be paying the same to use this landmark piece of infrastructure in 2040 as they pay now.
Customers can obtain a Breeze tag by opening an account online at Breeze.com.au, in person at our customer centre on Maroondah Highway in Ringwood, or by phone on 13 LINK (13 54 65).
The new ConnectEast tag had been named 'Breeze' to reflect the fact that using EastLink is fast, simple and convenient.
EastLink is fully compatible with all other electronic tollroads in Australia. Motorists who already have a tag can travel on EastLink and the tolls will be charged automatically to their existing account.
If you have an account with another Australian tollroad then you need not do anything. If you don't have an account with us and did not buy a trip pass, then you will receive an invoice. The invoice is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. The invoice includes the toll, an invoice fee from ConnectEast and a look-up fee to cover the cost of Vic Roads for obtaining address details. Motorists have 14 days to pay the invoice. A second invoice is then sent if payment is not made on the first invoice. If a motorist fails to pay the second invoice within 14 days, enforcement action will follow and the motorist may be fined.
An independent report commissioned by SEITA prior to opening predicted EastLink would have a positive impact on employment, consumer spending and economic output in Victoria.
EastLink was estimated to contribute an additional $15.7 billion to the Victorian economy during the period from 2004 to 2031 through savings in travel time bringing a range of efficiency and reliability benefits to business.
The entire landscape and wetland component of EastLink amounts to an area greater than the 480 hectares of parks and gardens currently existing in the City of Melbourne. EastLink is a new ‘green asset’ for the State and gradually ‘links up’ with the habitats and landscapes on either side of the roadway.
EastLink provides 60 constructed wetlands and water retention basins. The twin tunnels under the Mullum Mullum Valley help protect this unique valley environment.
More than 3.5 million native trees and shrubs have been planted on EastLink and several creeks and waterways have also been reinvigorated. As a result of EastLink, there is less congestion on surrounding arterial roads and reduced stop-start traffic will cut vehicle pollution.
EastLink must meet VicRoads' noise standards that apply to all new urban freeways. Noisewalls have been specifically designed to achieve this standard and minimise the impact of noise on surrounding communities.
Every section of the EastLink motorway is distinctive and memorable. There are creatively designed ventilation towers, tunnel entrances, pedestrian overpasses, noise walls, exposed rock features and extensive landscaping.
There are also four large-scale artworks along the roadside and many smaller works located along the shared use path.
ConnectEast is committed to a quality urban design outcome for motorists and adjacent communities.