Waiting in long queues to pay road toll may soon become history. The state government plans to introduce pre-paid electronic devices that will sit on your car’s windscreen and link to a sensor at the toll point. Every time you pass through, the toll amount will be deducted from your pre-paid account.
The e-toll system will be introduced at all five entry posts of Mumbai.
In March, the state government will issue expression-of-interest documents, inviting private operators for the project.
“Initially, we’ll keep manual toll collection too, reserving one or two lanes for e-toll,” said UPS Madan, project director of Mumbai Transformation Support Unit, an advisory panel that is facilitating Mumbai’s infrastructure makeover.
The state hopes that the technology can be used on special routes like the Bandra-Worli Sealink too. “Later, e-toll can also help reduce congestion within the city by adapting it to charge motorists for using certain routes,” Madan added.
E-toll has been used effectively to curb congestion in cities like Singapore.
Last year, the state asked software firm Mastek, which worked out a congestion charging system for London, to do a feasibility study on e-toll. The Mastek report, submitted in November 2007, endorsed it but said some basic data was needed. For instance, a database of car users is vital for e-toll to work.
“It’s a good idea, but there are simpler measures the city can introduce first, like premium parking fees,” said transport expert Ashok Datar.