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Old 16th January 2017, 16:25   #1
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Default Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Ever since 2001 when the Idea of the National Highways Development Project was conceptualized and implemented with the Golden Quadrilateral being made, we Indians have been blessed with excellent roads all across the country. Even the State Highways have been made duplicating the concept and the idea under the NHAI.

However, the Toll Collection/ Management System lacks efficiency which in turn effects the traffic by and large across all highways in the country. There have been numerous such situations where one has clocked 90Kms in an hours time on a highway by sedately driving at justified speeds and ends up in a Toll Jam for 30 minutes thereby changing the equation completely. Can or should our Toll Collection System not be better ?

Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?-tollplaza.jpg

Why does this happen ?
  • Improper planning of laying out Toll Booths where the average vehicle footfall is not correctly ascertained and the number of lanes are lesser than what is required
  • Any vehicle entering any lane by not following the designated lanes for every vehicle category
  • Insufficient tendering currencies/ change at tool booths
  • Unskilled Man Power which takes more than normal time to set free a toll paying vehicle
  • Technical issues where the cameras do not work properly to read the number plate of the vehicle
  • Improper utilization of Man Power which does nothing at Toll Booths and can be utilized to channelize the flow of traffic into the Toll Lanes

What is the solution ? I am enlisting what comes to my mind hereunder :
  • Designated Toll Lanes for every vehicle Category
    1. VIP Lane - for Ambulances and Exempted Vehicles
    2. Monthly Pass Vehicles
    3. Two Wheelers
    4. Three Wheelers and LCV
    5. Four Wheelers
    6. HCV
    7. Trailers
    8. Extra Wide Vehicles
  • Adding up additional lanes for certain vehicle categories, the traffic of which is more in the respective toll booths - Considering the trend shallnot be the same at every Toll
  • Utilizing Man Power to channelize vehicles into the correct designated lanes instead of barging in from anywhere
  • Set quality standards at Toll Booths that shall ensure smooth flow of vehicles by conducting periodical audits on the Technical Issues and Skilled Man Power at Toll Booths - Toll Booths can be entitled to earn an additional 5-10% based on their ratings
  • Implementation of penalty on vehicles which land up clogging the Toll for any reason what so ever - Break Down/ Non Remittance of Change/ Accident at Toll etc.

You may add your opinion based on your experience in order to add value to the thread
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Old 16th January 2017, 17:44   #2
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Too many cars on the road during peak hours - IMHO, there's no solution in the short to mid term for big cities. However, steps can be taken to reduce the problem a bit.

I've noticed that, in Mumbai, nearly all toll booths are splitting the load up. Say, there are 6 toll lanes. 3 lanes will pay toll at the standard point, while the other 3 lanes will have cars drive through and pay their toll about 50 - 75 meters ahead. This definitely helps avoid buildup at the starting point.

Related Thread:

Tanveer's excellent topic on the same - link (Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?)
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Old 16th January 2017, 17:50   #3
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

The best way out of this is abolition of toll booths. According to some studies, toll booths are actually a hindrance to national economic growth and toll collection benefits only the company collecting toll.

Link
Link

Quote:
The total toll collection in India in 2015 was around Rs 15,000 crore. AIMTC is ready to pay Rs 5,000 crore over that amount for the government to stop collection of toll. The transport industry loses Rs 1,45,000 crore a year due to fuel burnt by idling vehicles at tollbooths and the time lost. “We will happily part with Rs 20,000 crore every year as the losses we are suffering due to tollbooths are crippling.”
Quote:
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited (MSRDC), the state government’s own road agency, has also in the past recommended closure of all the five tollbooths on the fringes of Mumbai, citing losses that are nearly 20 times higher than the actual toll collection. It is estimated that Mumbai’s economy suffers a loss of about Rs 6,700 crore due to the average waiting time of eight minutes at these five tollbooths. And what is the annual revenue from these booths –– just some Rs 360 crore!
If what this link says about tolls is true, then the national economy is losing several times as much as the toll companies are collecting.

Last edited by GTO : 17th January 2017 at 11:25. Reason: Typo
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Old 16th January 2017, 17:57   #4
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Splitting the lane up much ahead of the gates using traffic cones and ropes, as there is an obscene amount of lane cutting according to the changing length of queues up ahead.

If the toll collection was from one national body, a much easier option would have been token based toll gates which you could buy at bulk ahead of a trip. Collection of the money by a central organisation, and disbursal to agencies based on tokens collected.

Rounding off of toll denominations to tens, too, please! I'm tired of providing or receiving change for 43/- and such tolls.
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Old 16th January 2017, 18:03   #5
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post



Why does this happen ?

What is the solution ?
Good thread, thanks a lot for starting. There are designated toll booths. On a lot of highways I have noticed clear markings like bus, cars and two wheeler etc, but no one follows it.

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.

Not to forget, truck and bus drivers who try to cut lanes at the toll booths.

Last edited by girimajiananth : 16th January 2017 at 18:05.
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Old 16th January 2017, 18:09   #6
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

I think there should be a one time road cess at the time of buying a vehicle and then an annual cess ( at a much lower %) should be charged at the time of insurance renewal. Or maybe some point percentage to be paid for each liter of fuel consumed by anyone. And the collected receipts disbursed to the owed parties by the govt regulator. All road tolls should be lifted.

Last edited by rrsteer : 16th January 2017 at 18:14.
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Old 16th January 2017, 18:11   #7
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
What is the solution ? I am enlisting what comes to my mind hereunder
Electronic contact-less payment mechanisms already exist. Simple Solution is to provide the correct incentives for users to switch.

All electronic toll payment to receive 10% discount and all cash payment to pay 20% extra.

Automatically, users shall make the switch and queues will vanish.

Last edited by GTO : 17th January 2017 at 11:27. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks!
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Old 16th January 2017, 18:17   #8
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

My two cents:
A system, where finger print of a person is read and the amount is debited directly from his/her bank account, could ease the situation. Can be automated too. Key in the desired location and place the finger on the reader. Very straight forward.
Also, in the busy toll booths, instead of only one counter per row, there could be 4-5 such machines placed one behind the other- say, 5 car drivers can key in their finger print in the sensor. Two major advantages- Problem of "return change" gets eliminated, since the exact amount is getting deducted from bank account online. Other, waiting for time for the vehicles stranded in the gets reduced( here in our case, it's 5 times faster as 5 vehicles are pushed out of the queue at once).

Only constraint would be - the person who's finger print print is being read, should have a valid Adhar card and an active Bank account linked to it.
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Old 16th January 2017, 19:10   #9
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?-erp_0.jpg

We need to spend a little bit more on infrastructure, like in Singapore we have the ERP(electronic road pricing) a device with a smart card(prepaid card) is attached to your car and it keep on deducting everytime you pass one of these. A normal car going to office from home, will pass 4-6 gantries on an average.
On the double, this prepaid card can be take out of the reader and used as your MRT(metro) and bus ticket as well. A lot of retail outlets accept it as well.
Easily topped up at atm's (without any surcharge) and a lot of cards have auto topup feature, meaning balance below a particular threshold , we get a sms confirming auto reload.

This saves a lot of time, as there are no administrative hiccups, no special privileges for VIP's and friends/relatives. No paying 50% in cash without receipts etc.

A long way to go, but imagine the advantages, free flowing highway traffic without any jams for toll payment.

I am not sure but I think HK and UAE has similar stuff but probably its RFID based.
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Old 16th January 2017, 19:37   #10
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

I am going to focus on the setup we already have - the Fastag system, but this is hardly publicized and NHAI hasn't created any awareness about this.

We can clean up a significant traffic mess by improving the adoption of Fastag cards and making changes to the toll booth infra. My suggestions:

- Make 'Fastag' mandatory on all commercial/taxi vehicles. I am sure that a significant chunk of the toll traffic is contributed by the above category. Making them adopt Fastag would reduce significant manual effort

- All toll booth lanes to have Fastag reader. Currently there are situations where people with Fastag are stuck choosing one lane (generally only one lane is equipped with this system) and end up spending many a minutes just to get to the Fastag reader - spoiling the whole point of having Fastag.

- NHAI to create more awareness and publicize this a lot more. Like someone commented above, give some sort of discounts for adopting Fastag

With our traffic volume, we still might have clogged Toll booths, but with this, we should be able to significantly fasten the processing time of each vehicle by reducing the manual intervention
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Old 16th January 2017, 19:45   #11
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Make FastTag mandatory. Ensure enough supply of tags and expand the locations where they are available in such a way that getting one should be a simple and quick process for any one. Also plan to make it standard in any new car delivered.

Have a timeline for this and once done, make a majority of the lanes at tolls FastTag only lanes, unlike the current scenario where only one lane is FastTag and the rest are manual. The traffic is only going to increase and short of abolishing tolls, the only option to speed up movement is to automate
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Old 16th January 2017, 20:04   #12
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Goa seems to have found a solution to this mess by just having a hefty entry permit once to enter the state and then no more toll collection anywhere else. Saves time, money and fuel.
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Old 16th January 2017, 20:41   #13
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Make FastTag mandatory.
Hard to implement. A simpler solution would be to lower the toll charges for people adopting FasTag. A 20% discount should be enough to make commercial vehicles adopt it for sure.

US toll booths often charge significantly higher if one is paying by cash. e.g. one tool booth on the border of Illinois and Indiana charges $2.00 if paying cash and a fourth (about 50 cents) of that if paying by electronic tag.
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Old 16th January 2017, 21:16   #14
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

A number of people have said this - but since it's something I feel strongly about, I shall say it again.

Have a single nationally valid electronic toll payment system which will credit toll to appropriate road contractor; make electronic toll payment mandatory for CVs (viz trucks will be seized and cannot progress unless a valid electronic payment pass is installed by a certain date); turn 90% of all toll lanes into ETC lanes; put a massive penalty for cash toll payment (start with 2x normal tolls and gradually increase over 6 months to 10x normal tolls); and finally make furnishing fake addresses to register vehicles a criminal offence punishable with at least 10 years in jail.

This country is one where 90% of folks are crooks - harsh measures are the only way to change it.
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Old 16th January 2017, 22:22   #15
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Default Re: Clogged Toll Booths! What's the solution?

FASTag is the way to go, making sure that all new cars come with one should make things a lot easier. New car owners will be forced to use it, other people will follow the suit. Somehow, we're facing implementation issues in our country.

Post Nov 8, the number of tags sold has increased drastically. There's a scarcity now and you need to be lucky to get it. I hope there are more POS in cities. They can also have an online application system where you upload scanned documents, go to the nearest Police Station to have physical copies verified and tag stuck to your vehicle.
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