If you’ve ever driven on a national highway in India, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of waiting in a long queue at a toll plaza, waiting to pay the toll charge. But what if there was a way to pay tolls without even stopping at the plaza? That’s where Fast Tag comes in.
Fast Tag is an electronic toll collection system that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to allow vehicles to pay toll charges automatically as they pass through the toll plaza.
Fast Tag was introduced in 2013 by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in an effort to improve the efficiency of toll collection and reduce congestion at toll plazas. In addition to the physical Fast Tag, the system also includes a network of sensors and RFID readers at the toll plazas, as well as a backend system for processing toll charges and managing user accounts. The system has been implemented on several national highways in India and is designed to improve the efficiency of toll collection and reduce congestion at toll plazas.
How Fast Tag Works?
- To use Fast Tag, motorists must first purchase a physical tag, which is affixed to the windscreen of the vehicle. The tag contains an RFID chip that is read by sensors at the toll plaza when the vehicle passes through.
- The toll charge is automatically deducted from the user’s account, which can be pre-paid or linked to a bank account for automatic recharge.
- As the vehicle passes through the toll plaza, the sensors detect the RFID chip and process the toll charge automatically. The vehicle does not need to stop, saving time and improving the flow of traffic.
Benefits of Fast Tag
There are several benefits to using Fast Tag for toll collection on national highways in India.
First and foremost, it helps to reduce congestion at toll plazas. With traditional toll collection methods, vehicles must stop at the plaza to pay the toll charge, which can lead to long queues and delays. Fast Tag allows vehicles to pass through the plaza without stopping, improving the flow of traffic and reducing the risk of accidents.
In addition, it is a convenient and efficient way to pay tolls. With a Fast Tag account, motorists do not need to carry cash or fumble with change at the toll plaza. The toll charge is automatically deducted from the Fast Tag account, making the process quick and hassle-free.
Another benefit is that it helps to improve the accuracy of toll collection. With traditional methods, toll attendants can make mistakes when collecting toll charges or for motorists to avoid paying the toll altogether. Fast Tag eliminates these issues by automating the process and ensuring that the correct toll charge is collected every time.
The Process of Using Fast Tag
One can purchase a Fast Tag at any of the toll plazas where the system is operational, as well as at select bank branches, petrol stations, and other locations. The tag costs a one-time fee of around INR 100 and has a lifespan of at least five years.
To use it, motorists must have a Fast Tag account and sufficient balance in the account to cover the toll charges. The account can be pre-paid or linked to a bank account for automatic recharge. In addition to paying toll charges, users can also use the tag to pay for parking, fuel, and other services at participating locations. It has been well-received by motorists in India, with many praising its convenience and efficiency. According to the NHAI, users save an average of 30% on toll charges compared to those paying with cash.
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Complaints with Fast Tag
While Fast Tag has been well-received by many motorists in India for its convenience and efficiency, the system has also faced criticism for its limitations and flaws.
One common complaint about it is its limited availability. The system is currently operational on only a few national highways in India, meaning that motorists may not be able to use it on all of their travels. This can be frustrating for those who have purchased it and set up an account, only to find that the system is not available on the highway they are travelling on.
Another issue with Fast Tag is the cost of the physical tag. While the one-time fee of around INR 100 may seem small, it can be a barrier for some motorists who may not see the value in purchasing it. This can be especially true for those who only occasionally use national highways and may not have a frequent need for the Fast Tag system.
In addition, the Fast Tag system has faced technical issues that have caused delays and inconvenience for users. For example, there have been instances where the sensors at the toll plaza have failed to read the RFID chip, resulting in the vehicle being required to stop and pay the toll charge manually. There have also been instances of Fast Tag accounts being charged incorrectly or not being charged at all, causing confusion and frustration for users.
Despite these challenges, this system has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of toll collection on national highways in India and reduce congestion at toll plazas. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is working to address the limitations and flaws in the system and expand this network to cover more national highways in the country.
Overall, Fast Tag is a welcome addition to the national highways in India. It helps to reduce congestion at toll plazas, improves the efficiency of toll collection, and makes the process of paying tolls more convenient for motorists. If you’re planning to drive on a national highway in India, be sure to consider getting a Fast Tag to make your travels smoother and more efficient.
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