FASTag lanes to drive KSRTC into savings mode

Tenders invited for e-payment system at toll plazas in southern states

FASTag lanes to drive KSRTC into savings mode

 Passengers travelling in KSRTC buses can look forward to reduced travel duration as the corporation is set to switch to electronic payment system at all toll plazas in southern states.

The corporation has invited tenders for electronic toll payments. Soon, its fleet of 8,317 buses will be fitted with FASTag devices that employ radio frequency identification technology.

Officials in the corporation said about 5,000 buses pass through toll plazas every day. “A bus usually spends five minutes at a plaza when traffic is lean. During peak hours, this will go up to 30 minutes, which stretches the travel time,” they said.

With this, the buses will not have to wait in long queues to pay toll. They can pass through plazas without stopping, on an exclusive lane provided for vehicles with FASTag. The device collects all details of entry and exit of the vehicle, including vehicle number, time and number of trips.

The corporation pays about Rs 60 crore a year at toll plazas across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry. According to the National Highway Authority of India’s policy, the corporation will be eligible for a 10% cash back on toll payments made through FASTag.

This will ensure that the corporation saves about Rs 6 crore. KSRTC Managing Director Rajender Kumar Kataria said the FASTag device will also help monitor the movement of buses. “Apart from seamless travel, the device will help streamline services. We can track the trip timings of the buses and get to know each vehicle’s speed. This will bring more discipline among drivers,” he said.

Noting that cash payment at toll booth was an “orthodox method,” he said the electronic payment system will bring in transparency and accountability as all data on bus trips will be sent directly to the corporation. KSRTC officials said under the customised single system for digital payments, the agency that bags the contract would provide a daily statement on all KSRTC buses that have passed through toll plazas, which will be verified by the corporation before making payment.

The corporation has asked the bidders for additional discount, especially for multiple use of tolled road, where the discount may go up to 40%. A pre-bid meeting will be held on Thursday, following which the process will be expedited, officials said.

The break-up

Total KSRTC fleet 8,317
5,000 buses pass through toll plazas in southern states daily
Each bus spends 5 minutes to 30 minutes at each toll plaza
FASTags save time, money
KSRTC will get 10% discount and can save Rs 6 crore a year

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