The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) introduced FASTag in 2014 and since then it has completely changed the way toll taxes are collected.
The importance of FASTag in the Indian Transport System is huge. To lessen unnecessary congestion on highways, the central government made it mandatory for all cars utilising national highway toll plazas across India to make toll payments through FASTag.
How Does FASTag Work?
A card is attached to a car's windscreen; FASTag scanners at the toll booths use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) check. The toll tax is paid electronically, and the money is taken out of a savings or prepaid account connected to the FASTag.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that the FASTag programme utilises to collect toll tax payments on the road. The FASTag is a tag that is connected to your bank account or a prepaid card and fastened to the windscreen of the car. When a vehicle with a FASTag attached drives up to a toll booth, the booth's scanner recognises the tag and deducts tax from the associated bank account or the prepaid card.
A Card Full of Benefits
FASTag plays an important part in the Indian Transport System, as it carries many benefits for the vehicle owners to the Government. Below are some of these benefits detailed:
Benefits for vehicle owners:
For vehicle owners, FASTag is essential not only because the government has deemed it so but because it has a multitude of benefits. Following are some of these benefits are mentioned below:
FASTag-equipped vehicles can simply drive through toll booths as the tax payment occurs quickly. This also results in less traffic and seamless movements.
FASTags provide vehicle owners with the choice of cashless toll tax payment. For commuters who cross highways frequently, this is very helpful as it can be painful to constantly pay exact change.
Using FASTags makes it simple to get online toll statements that can be mailed or shared over the Internet for people who need to collect toll receipts for records.
It eliminates the requirement of carrying currency moving forward to pay tolls.
Benefits for the Government:
The FASTag is not only beneficial for vehicle owners but it has plenty of help for the Indian government as well. These include:
Installing the FASTag system allows toll operators to avoid hiring labour to manually collect toll fees, which results in cheaper operating costs.
FASTags guarantee better audit control via centralised user accounts since there is no possibility of toll revenue being lost while being collected.
FASTag installation ensures that vehicles travel more quickly on highways.
Since toll payments are made electronically, all transactions are publicly documented without any room for fraud.
It can also assist the government in determining the volume of road use and the different kinds of passing vehicles. As a result, budgets for expenses related to infrastructure, such as road widening, will benefit.
Some additional benefits:
Spend tracking: Because of FASTag, you can also better track your money. Every time you pass a toll plaza, the toll fee is deducted from your account or prepaid wallet, and you are notified of the deduction via SMS and email at the registered phone number and email address. You can use this to keep tabs on the cash you have spent at toll booths.
Environmentally friendly: FASTag doesn't utilise paper because toll plazas don't exchange receipts. Additionally, since traffic can pass these plazas without having to wait in a queue, fuel consumption is reduced. This benefits the environment.
A Few Drawbacks:
Although FASTag comes with a lot of benefits, it still carries a few drawbacks. Some of them are mentioned below:
Wrong lane: A truck driver may enter the incorrect lane and incur two tolls if they are unaware of the difference between a hybrid FASTag lane and a cash lane. Users of FASTags may only use FASTag lanes; those using cash may only use ordinary cash lanes. Cash customers will be charged twice as much if they choose to use the FASTag lane.
Potential Technical Issues: The tag stopping working is another significant problem that FASTag users have. The RFID scanner may fail to recognise your tag under some circumstances. You might therefore be required to pay in cash. You receive a free ride, nevertheless, if the toll booth's scanner is malfunctioning.
All things considered, using FASTag has much more advantages than disadvantages. And this is why it plays an important role in the smooth functioning of the Indian Transportation System.
However, if you still want a better understanding of FASTag, then Park+ could be your ideal guide. The mobile app allows you to easily access a range of FASTag-related information as well as swiftly receive your FASTag, activate it, and recharge it. All of this and more are available by simply installing the app.