The digital toll payments through FASTag across national highways increased at least 60% of the total toll collections from December 2019 to January 2020. But it came with a setback for waiting time of vehicles at toll plazas increasing by 29%, stated a Hindustan Times (HT) report.
Hindustan Times quoted transport ministry saying that the electronic toll collection at highway plazas has gone up by at least 60%. This is only to be expected since the rules mandate electronic payments. Data on whether there was an increase in overall toll revenue isn’t available yet — this will show whether FASTag has met one of their objectives, preventing leakages in the system.
According to the HT report, the increase in waiting time is because not everyone has moved to FASTag yet, and the data mainly highlights teething troubles in the digital payment method across national highway and on the day, when FASTag was implemented, December 15, the average waiting time of vehicles at plazas increased from 10 minutes and four seconds on December 15, 2018, to 12 minutes. The average waiting time of vehicles on December 14, a day before the implementation, stood at 10 minutes and 57 seconds.
The average waiting time is calculated by the time travelled by each vehicle to cross the toll plazas and is calculated within 1km distance of the plazas. The average wait time at toll plazas in 2018 was 8 minutes 16 seconds as compared to 9 minutes and 12 seconds last year (till November 2019).
Hindustan Times quoted Central Toll Plaza Traffic Monitoring System saying nearly 6 million vehicles cross toll booths across India every day, there is an approximate yearly loss of over ₹12,000 crore due to fuel wastage at toll plazas.
The central toll plaza traffic monitoring system which is currently live at 488 plazas.
As per the monthly analysis done by monitoring system, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and Rajasthan are the states with the most congested toll plazas leading to an increase in the average waiting time while Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh are among the states that have shown the most improvement in this aspect.
The objective behind the tags was to encourage digital payments and to end congestion and reduce waiting time at toll plazas. FASTag is a radio frequency identification sticker typically fixed to a vehicle’s windscreen that allows for the deduction of toll wirelessly and automatically without requiring a vehicle to stop at plazas.