Explained: What is FASTag and how is toll collected?

What is FASTag and how is toll collected?
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From December 1, vehicles passing through toll plazas should have FASTags. It enables automatic deduction of toll charges and allows you to pass through the toll plaza without the need to stop for a cash transaction.

What is FASTag?

FASTag is a prepaid tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges. It employs radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. It is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables you to drive through toll plazas without stopping for transactions. FASTag is read by the tag reader at the plaza and the toll amount is deducted automatically.

For this, you need to transfer money to the FASTag account beforehand. The advantages of the system are plenty - you can save on time, fuel, and it is a paperless transaction. It is a uniform system introduced by the National Highway Authority of India that can be installed at any toll plaza in the country.

Advantages

Use of FASTag will lower queueing time at toll plazas. Since you do not have to stop at the plazas, you can save on time and fuel. Besides, since it is an online transaction, you do not need to carry money for paying toll.

Five times faster

The electronic toll collection system will help reduce the rush at the toll booths, while providing convenience of faster movement - up to five times - across toll plazas. At present, according to the NHAI, each vehicle takes 15 to 20 seconds to cross a toll plaza. But, in reality, this is not the case and the wait could be longer. The FASTag system will reduce time spent by each vehicle to just three seconds. Since the toll fee is deducted electronically through the tag, both motorists and toll plaza workers will be able to breathe easy.

At present, up to 240 vehicles pass through a toll booth in an hour. This figure will go up to 1,200 vehicles with the implementation of the FASTag system.

How to get a FASTag?

FASTags can be obtained from toll plazas and leading banks for a small fee. You get a FASTag account valid for five years. You can keep any amount – ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1 lakh - in the FASTag account. The money can be transferred to the FASTag account through online banking or debit and credit cards.

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