The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has announced that the FASTag daily toll collection has hit a record high of Rs 193.15 crore with 1.16 crore transactions in a single day on April 29. This milestone marks the success of the toll collection system’s implementation and steady growth in the country.
The Indian government made the use of FASTag mandatory in February 2021, and since then, the number of toll plazas integrated with the system has significantly increased from 770 to 1,228, including 339 state toll plazas. The program has issued over 6.9 crore FASTags to users, resulting in a remarkable 97 percent penetration rate.
One of the most notable benefits of using the FASTag system is the improved user experience due to reduced waiting time at NH Fee Plazas. Besides being a reliable method of toll collection, the FASTag system has also enabled effortless and secure contactless payment for parking fees at over 140 parking lots in 50+ cities throughout India. This has made the system even more popular among users.
The implementation of the FASTag system has also led to an increase in the valuation of road assets, resulting in increased investment in India’s highway infrastructure. The government is dedicated to delivering a seamless tolling experience to all road users and is presently striving to introduce a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based tolling system that will facilitate free-flow tolling throughout the country.
FASTag is a cashless payment model that allows toll tax to be collected seamlessly without the need for the vehicle to stop. The FASTag is affixed to the user’s vehicle’s windscreen and linked to their prepaid account, such as a Paytm wallet. As the vehicle passes through a toll plaza, the toll amount is automatically deducted from the linked prepaid account or Paytm wallet. The Paytm app lets the user know about the toll charges and also gives them an automatic way to resolve any issues.
The success of the FASTag system is a testament to the Indian government’s efforts to promote digital transactions and a cashless economy. As more and more users embrace the system, it is expected to bring about significant benefits for the country’s transportation sector.