Ever since FASTags have been made mandatory for vehicles in India to pay toll tax, there has been reports that FASTags have actually increased wait time of vehicles at plazas, rather than reducing it.
Numbers from the central toll plaza traffic monitoring system suggest that waiting times for vehicles have actually gone up by 29%, even though FASTags accounted for more than 60% of the total toll collection.
Replying to a question by Sanjay Raut, MP, Shiv Sena in Rajya Sabya on whether the wait time at the toll plazas has increased after the implementation of FASTags, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways has confirmed that the wait time has indeed increased at certain lanes of the toll plazas across country.
Gadkari said that while the wait time of cars with FASTags has reduced significantly, the hybrid lanes, where both cash and FASTags are accepted are witnessing an increased wait time.
He also said that till now, 1.4 crore FASTags have been issued and the government is further adding 1 lakh FASTags on a daily basis. A FASTag is a Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) sticker fixed to the windshield of your car enabled via the barcode and is linked with the registration details of your vehicle.
As you drive though any toll plaza on any national highway in India, FASTag readers will read the RFID code and necessary toll amount is deducted from the prepaid balance. This reduces the waiting and processing time at plazas.
The central toll plaza traffic monitoring system which collects live data from 488 toll plazas across India reports that the average waiting for vehicles was 7 minutes and 44 seconds, in the period between November 15, 2019 and December 14.
It was in October that the Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles from December 2019. However, there have been extensions of this deadline since.