Thursday, August 7, 2008

Eastlink operator's shares plunge - The Age

Andrea Rotondi
August 8, 2008 - 2:09PM

Everything's pointing down for the Eastlink freeway at the end of its toll-free period with a plunge in motorist numbers reflected in a savaging of its operator's share price.

- ConnectEast shares down 14.1%
- 'Too early to draw conclusions': operator
- Average 133,722 trips last week

The average number of daily trips on Melbourne's newest freeway have plunged 49% since tolling began on July 27, according to figures released today by ConnectEast.

Shares in ConnectEast, the freeway's operating company, were mauled today, plunging 14.5 cents, or 15%, to 85 cents, after earlier falling as much as 23%. It is the company's biggest one-day fall since it listed in November 2004.

Melburnians were happy to accept a free ride on the motorway during its toll-free period with 270,868 trips made on average per day.

However, the introduction of tolls, costing an average of $3.10 per trip, saw patronage plummet to an average 133,722 trips last week...

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