Highway Toll Plazas: NHAI To Introduce Prepaid Touch-And-Go Cards To Cut Long Queues
NHAI is keen to start the card system for the ‘hybrid’ lanes as soon as possible to address congestion at plazas and to plug revenue leakage.
With the aim to minimise cash transaction at toll plazas, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will soon roll out a Delhi Metro type prepaid touch-and-go card for commuters.
Each card would cost around Rs 50 and can be used only on ‘hybrid’ lanes where payments are made by cash or through electronic means.
Currently, commuters can pay cash only at one fee collection booth on each side of a toll plaza. All other lanes are exclusively earmarked for vehicles with FASTags.
According to NHAI, currently about 70 per cent of the toll payment transactions are being done through FASTags. There is a dire need to reduce the cash transactions, which take more time and cause long queues at the toll plazas.
Long queues on ‘hybrid’ lanes often prompt drivers to enter the FASTag lanes even when the vehicles don’t have the smart tag and this causes congestion on these dedicated lanes.
The officials said the “closed loop prepaid cards” will be made available at all the ‘hybrid’ lanes across toll plazas so that commuters can get them quickly.
NHAI’s toll management wing, IHMCL has invited bids for roll out of this system. Sources said the authority is keen to start it soon for addressing congestion at plazas and to plug the leakage of revenue.
According to the tender document, the successful bidder will have to set up at least two dedicated point-of-sales (PoS) manpower in three shifts for card issuance, recharge, top-up facility and cash management at each national highway toll plaza for the initial three months.
In these initial months, the service provider will train, provide handholding and support the existing toll collectors at the hybrid lanes for smoother transactions.
The pre-paid card system will be integrated with the toll management systems (TMS) to enable a toll operator to select vehicle class so that the applicable toll fee can be deducted from the prepaid card on tapping the PoS device.
“All transactions captured by the pre-paid card system should tally with the data captured by the TMS,” the bid document said.
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