Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Road Transport (KSRTC) will soon call for fresh tenders for FASTags in its buses plying on state and national highways as the previous system was cancelled a few months ago due to administration and technical glitches.
FASTags ensure buses move through toll plazas quickly without wasting time to pay toll fees. Separate toll booths are set up for vehicles with FASTags and the moment they pass through the booths, cameras scan the FASTag barcode stickers on the windshields and deduct the amount automatically, as FASTags are a prepaid facility. This had helped KSRTC buses cut down travel time.
“But a few months ago, a private bank that had been outsourced this work to couldn’t manage the system as there were glitches, like excess toll fees, multiple entries despite a single entry and non-cooperation of toll employees. We decided to stop it and now will put out new tenders for the system again,” a senior KSRTC officer said.
KSRTC Managing Director S.R. Umashankar said, “FASTags were helpful and we were getting a fair amount of compensation. It was useful for the KSRTC and passengers, but it did not work due to various reasons. We will meet National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials and will try to bring back the system as soon as possible, as it helps the passengers to save time, as the travel time comes down.”
Several passengers are unhappy that FASTags in KSRTC buses have been disabled. Shiva Krishna Bhat, a frequent traveller to Mangaluru, said, “I always travel by KSRTC buses as they are well-maintained and ticket prices are cheaper. The FASTag system helped us reach Mangaluru in seven hours, while earlier it took over eight hours.”
Another senior KSRTC official said that around 5,000 KSRTC buses ply on highways and pass through some 80 toll plazas every day. The corporation pays around Rs 5 crore annually towards toll plaza fees.