With backing from the EU bank, the Slovenia motorway toll became automated, helping the environment, road safety and business. It also gave Monika Seitl her dream job.
Dobila sem službo: Monika in slovenski elektronski cestninski sistem
As a kid, Monika Seitl dreamt of becoming an archaeologist and exploring ancient history around her hometown of Laško, which dates back to the Iron Age. Today, instead of digging up the past, she is pushing Slovenia’s transport system into the future.
Monika studied public administration in Ljubljana, but “as I was starting my undergraduate studies, the financial crisis hit and hiring in the public sector halted,” she recalls. She didn’t give up, though.
She took a part-time student job at DARS, the public company that maintains Slovenian motorways. “I worked in various teams and departments, which enriched my knowledge about the company’s operations and services, but I was employed on temporary contracts,” Monika says.
In 2017, the European Investment Bank loaned DARS € 51 million to build an electronic tolling system for vehicles above 3.5 tonnes. The company needed a team to complete the important project, and Monika joined it.
”It was my first full-time job and I was truly excited to work on the project,” she says.
Monika helped develop the DarsGo web portal that allows drivers to keep track of their tolls as well as to top up their credit.
Today, trucks no longer have to stop and pay at toll stations. Instead, electronic tags inside vehicles connect wirelessly with receivers mounted on tolling gantries to record when trucks pass by. With toll stations dismantled, traffic flows better, too.
Monika's job is one of millions created and supported by the European Investment Bank, the EU bank. By 2021, investments signed by the EIB Group in 2017 alone are expected to have raised EU GDP by 1.1% and to have created 1.2 million jobs. Even in 2036, there will still be a 0.7% increase in EU GDP as a result of the EIB's 2017 investments, as well as 650 000 extra jobs.
Monika is now working on an international project called “European Electronic Toll Service” that aims to let drivers of vehicles above 3.5 tonnes pay tolls electronically with a single electronic tag across all EU countries. “At DARS, I get to contribute to the company’s development in these exciting times,” Monika says. “I have a feeling that I’m actually making a difference.”