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Old 17th January 2017, 14:34   #31
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

The time and fuel burned by the trucks while standing in the toll queues hurts the logistics companies quite a lot; financially. In exchange of abolishing the Toll system, the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) is ready to pay an amount of Rs. 40,000 per vehicle for 400,000 vehicles, which is more than what the government is presently earning from these tolls. Despite this proposal, the government is doing nothing about it.
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Old 17th January 2017, 14:34   #32
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

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Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
If I need to drive 500 KMs on NH4 between Bangalore and Belgaum, I would have stopped atleast 10-12 times either to show the receipt or to pay again. Instead of this, allow me to pay once till my destination. Design the toll collection area in such a way that new motorists who join the highway must pass through the toll booth and pay. Others who have paid till the destination need not stop.
I just drove back from Alapuzha to Bangalore yesterday and I was thinking the exact thing. If I can pay the full toll at the first toll booth then it saves me valuable time. I can just display the receipt at each toll booth, in a separate lane marked for "toll paid" travellers and move on rather than queueing behind other vehicles.

But one good thing which I noticed on the Bangalore-Alapuzha route is that almost all toll booths have started accepting paytm and cards. So no need of carrying loose cash and then wait at the toll gate for change.
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Old 17th January 2017, 14:36   #33
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

In Dubai the electronic toll system is known as SALIK. Passive RFID card is placed on the windshield. 4 AED is automatically deducted from the prepaid toll account each time you drive through a Salik toll gate. The account can be recharged online.

If the account doesn't have enough balance, there is 5 days grace period to recharge or will get 50 AED fine for each day you pass through the SALIK toll gates.

It is mandatory for all the car to have SALIK card.

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My opinion: Make cash transactions expensive than RFID or FASTag. This way people will be inclined on using FASTtag and gradually decrease the manned toll.

*Images are sourced from Wikipedia.

Last edited by sooraj.naik : 17th January 2017 at 14:47.
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Old 17th January 2017, 15:14   #34
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Here is my view to solve this problem to some extent -
1. Fast tag adoption should be implemented and adoption should be welcomed by Toll operators by giving that extra service of having dedicated people to guide cars in Fast Tag lanes in event the Fast Tag lanes are clogged by Non fast tag cars. I have seen this being done during new year weekend at a NH4 tool gate. And believe me, it made me think that I should opt for Fast Tag at earliest. IMO with time when more people are aware of this, the adoption will increase, and lane discipline will fall in place eventually.
2. The Toll operators should start displaying their Mobile number for PAYTM or likewise payment mode details well in advance so that upfront payment can be initiated by travelers rather than when reaching the toll gate. Toll gates can have multiple QR scanners per lane to ease out the traffic on busy days.
3. Toll fee validity should be increased. Some tolls have a return fare valid for 24hrs. IMHO it should be increased to 48Hrs. This could probably reduce the wait time at tolls to some extent at a cost for the loss of toll collected. This will certainly reduce the weekend or holiday long queues.
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Old 17th January 2017, 15:27   #35
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

In a rather twisted way, demonetisation and electronic payments (not FASTag) have slowed down the average halt per car, as I discovered in my recent drive from MH to TN.

To begin with, highway toll plazas never seemed as efficient in minimising the halt time per vehicle, compared to a crowded city toll plaza (like Vashi, Navi Mumbai). Add the time taken to scan the QR code (e-wallet) or swipe your card, it translates to a cool 30 to 60 seconds more per vehicle at a minimum, than waving the currency note out of the window and collecting the receipt plus change without technically coming to a complete halt.

Cash transaction was never the best way in the first place, but with electronic payments at the toll plaza taking even more time, hope to see FASTag actually improve the situation. It also does not benefit the FASTag customer that he has only one ETC lane, whereas non-FASTag vehicles have all the choice (including clogging up the ETC lane!)

Last edited by GeeTee TSI : 17th January 2017 at 15:28.
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Old 17th January 2017, 15:38   #36
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

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Originally Posted by Doc_Hudson View Post
1. Fast tag adoption should be implemented and adoption should be welcomed by Toll operators by giving that extra service of having dedicated people to guide cars in Fast Tag lanes in event the Fast Tag lanes are clogged by Non fast tag cars.
I think there is some court (HC or SC) ruling that you cannot stop anybody from using the e-payment lanes. Sometimes in trying to sort out a local problem (I think it was NH8!) a global monster is born.

I think the procedure adopted for Fastag could be simplified. What is needed is a simple system for toll collection, and there is no real need to link it with vehicle verification and the rest. Why not just sell some prepaid toll coupons with rfid, which get automatically debited and the user warned when he is reaching the end. Even the equivalent of the 'free ride home' of the Singapore Metro can be tried.

Also, why this nonsense of exempting a or b and not c. I will say charge everybody and a & b can claim a reimbursement. Somewhere we have to learn to trust the people. If a few make false claims, so be it. I agree the use of ATM mules and the like during the first part of the Demonetization rush does leave some doubts. I was about to suggest that if the wait exceeds time 'x' then allow free passage, but then we will create queues just for this.

What is beyond doubt is the need some sort of a 'fast' system of toll clearance.
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Old 17th January 2017, 16:53   #37
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

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Originally Posted by adutta2k View Post
But one good thing which I noticed on the Bangalore-Alapuzha route is that almost all toll booths have started accepting paytm and cards. So no need of carrying loose cash and then wait at the toll gate for change.

Thanks for the inputs. PayTM and card payments are no doubt a boon, but there are some technical glitches with these. Not always the payment is successful, sometimes the money gets debited from your account but does not reflect at the other party's account. These types of situations wont help us resolve the situation.

I would suggest having one smart card / app for all highways across nation. If I have a pre planned route for the trip, I must be able to pay all tolls from my home and generate the required receipt and just show it at check points.
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Old 17th January 2017, 17:10   #38
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Are there any law / rule on maximum amount of time that one should spend at toll booth for paying toll beyond which the vehicle will be exempted from paying toll?

I remember someone raising this in Kerala, this came in papers etc
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Old 17th January 2017, 18:06   #39
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

This issue here is Fastag implementation. Govt has not given any guidelines or rules how to allow fastag users in which lane. It has been completely left to toll booth operator how they want to implement it. Anyone entering Fastag lane without Fastag should be fined heavily, fine is what Indians understand, else everyone keep jumping into fastag lane.

Unless govt comes up with clear cut guidelines to make Fastag really fast, this Fastag will die a slow death. Since it has become Slowtag already.

Last edited by shamanth : 17th January 2017 at 18:07.
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Old 17th January 2017, 18:08   #40
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I think there is some court (HC or SC) ruling that you cannot stop anybody from using the e-payment lanes.
Yes but if the government can give you incentives for going cashless on Petrol Pumps, Toll Plazas are a natural extension. A motivating incentive (or disincentive for cash transactions) is an obvious solution.


But it needs to be significantly simpler. For example a combination of vehicle breakers (read: potent speed breakers, to ensure people slow down), RFID readers and prepaid tags, with some mechanism of punishing errant vehicles.

On exemptions agree completely. The concept of VIP lanes and exemptions is ridiculous. In fact automated receipts issued to only official / so-registered cars will in some way mean better compliance of the official use policy of such cars too.

What worries me though is the safety of toll attendants. Already we have horror stories of perfectly reasonable attendants being harassed, even shot! Anything that takes away the unsaid privileges this country's many pseudo-goons enjoy is likely to invite ire.

Last edited by Annibaddh : 17th January 2017 at 18:09.
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Old 17th January 2017, 20:13   #41
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Well, one should really look at whose ownership this is.

Tolls are collected by private companies which built those roads (the quality can be debated upon), and hence it is their ethical and legal responsibility to ensure that people do not have to wait to pay. It is what consumerism is about - I am ready to pay but don't make me wait for it.

There is a yellow line rule which is loosely implemented in the Mumbai-Pune expressway, if the waiting line of cars crosses this line (which is about 5-6 car lengths from the payment counter), then the toll operator is required to give a free pass to cars till the traffic line is reduced.

All the ideas being discussed here - RFids, FASTAG etc. are long term solutions, they have not managed to scale-up FASTAGs for more than a year now. The legal responsibility lies with the toll collector - they need to build an infra and manage traffic to avoid these waiting times. In my opinion, one should file a petition to bring this to practice.
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Old 17th January 2017, 20:42   #42
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

I think, what's important to understand is what were the actual purposes of setting up these toll booths? The world is changing rapidly; have we managed to change our systems in accordance with it?

In Mumbai, at the Mulund, Dahisar, Airoli and Kalyan toll booths, I have heard ubiquitous complaints of every passenger when they are paying the cess about how bad the roads are maintained despite the toll booths.

Add to this, the numerous reports that prove that toll booths are a hindrance to the economy rather than aiding it.

As such, there are two things that can be done about it. The government will need to figure out a different solution of paying the road contractors which can be earned back from the public in the form of taxes and thus abolish toll booths in their entirety. (Though, honestly I doubt that the current breed of our political class is capable of taking such innovative and disruptive decisions)

The second thing would be to overhaul the vehicle identification system by using newer technologies like RFID and create an entire ecosystem wherein cameras, whether at traffic signals or toll booths, can identify these vehicles easily and then debit accounts associated with these vehicles for any fines or toll fees. With the push towards digitisation, I hope the government starts thinking towards such systems.

But at the end of everything comes our aversion towards following rules. I personally believe that if we as citizens just followed rules, our current creaky systems would still be capable to handling all requirements.
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Old 17th January 2017, 21:06   #43
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

The thoughts about methods to ease out toll gate pains as presented by all the members leads me to think, how many folks travel those highways criss-crossing India extensively?

Some takeaways from my Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi drive between 7-15 January 2017:

Present electronic payment methods:

PayTM - Not all toll gate operators are trained or understand how to verify receipt of PayTM payments. I actually got heckled by a lorry driver behind me because the toll operator was taking too long to figure out how to verify the payment and issue me a receipt. Itna sa paisa cash nahin hai kya?, he yelled at me. A little more than 50% of all the toll gates from Delhi to Kolkata accept PayTM. On or two accept Mobikwik instead.

Credit / debit cards - There is no way I am going to swipe my card in the middle of nowhere, and punch out my PIN. I am terrified of my card being cloned, or someone taking my card and PIN at gunpoint. Very few toll gates (<50%) have EDCPOS machines available anyway.

FasTAG - A total of 5 toll gates over the distance had reserved lanes for FasTAG (I counted). Everywhere else, FasTAG lanes were as jammed as the other lanes. Not worth my time and money to invest in the system as yet. At some of these FasTAG lanes, employees used a handheld scanner to scan the FasTAG, after stopping the vehicle completely. No time saved.

Mobile collection points (cash only) - Employees of the toll operator walk down the lines of vehicles and issue toll receipts against cash payment, from a handheld device. Saves a bit of time, aince each vehicle stops at the toll gate for a shorter period of time, just for the booth person to verify the receipt and open the gate.

Need some other system than what is being adopted at present, that can be universally adapted for use by the current profile of illiterate / semi-literate commercial drivers on the highways, without the risk of theft, swindling, corrupt practices or further delays than what is suffered due to cash transactions. Till then, cash rules at tolls, until someone decides that this practice should be scrapped altogether.
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Old 18th January 2017, 12:59   #44
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

It will help if we segregate usage and collection. Today both are clubbed. Each usage is collected at the time of usage. Supposing there were a way where the usage is recorded and a dues/bill is produced which needs to be paid after. This might be for those cases which do not have electronic toll collection. However there are huge implementation challenges and issue of recovery of dues and enforcement. Also it can lead to higher litigation.
For electronic tag, the tag will deduct the amount on usage as there is no interaction between the commuter and the toll plaza person which is the main cause of increased cycle time of transaction.

Also, number of toll plazas should be on the higher side of capacity. If 10 are needed, 12 should be built. And there should be addition of more with time and increase in vehicle population. The toll plaza operator can build multi story toll plaza with one on top of another and keep adding more with time. Like wise, one level/floor can be entirely for electronic tag collection and one for cash, one for vip and so on.
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Old 19th January 2017, 11:00   #45
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Just my two bits:
I was evaluating FastTag. I travel between Pune and Mumbai about twice a month.
First problem - I am paying in advance and still I am being charged more than the cash equivalent! Bad! Real bad!!
Second problem - the dedicated lane is not 'controlled' - so I do not think that I will save any time.

Both these issues need to be corrected.

Just loud thinking - the lanes for cars should have steel barriers so that bigger buses cannot pass.
Similarly, for the bigger vehicles there should be some sort of speed breakers so that smaller vehicles are not able to pass.
In short, there should be some sort of respect and get respect system.

Regards,

Girish Mahajan
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