NHA to Automate Toll Collection for Highways, Motorways via Credit/Debit Cards

National Highway Authority (NHA) is devising a plan for commuters to pay their toll tax through mobile and credit card against the current manual system.

The Authority is working on a project to facilitate commuters/passengers traveling on motorways and highways by introducing a uniform way of payment for the toll tax collection. This will help in reducing huge rush at toll plazas and will save their time as well.

Currently NHA has installed E-tag facility on M-1, M-3 and M-4 while Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has installed M-tag on M-2 (Islamabad-Lahore).

However it was revealed in Senate Standing Committee on Communication that FWO is collecting extra charges from commuters as compared to the NHA-E-tag. The committee recommended an inquiry into the matter and also directed for implementing a uniform toll collection system throughout the country.

The E-tag electronic tolling is based on radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders using the dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) protocol. The system uses electronic transponders called E-tags mounted on the inside of the vehicles’ windscreen.

NADRA is providing E-tag services to NHA on motorways (M-1, M-3 and M-4). E-tag is a free flow tolling electronic toll collection system used on all motorways.

Features of E-tag system

  • Transparency in toll collection
  • Better control, monitoring and management of data and toll at entry exit points
  • Customized reports such as financial and traffic turnover entry/exit management
  • Fast entry/exit points
  • Availability of data such as CNIC, registration, model and make
  • Rechargeable credit mechanism

Operations of E-tag

As vehicle approaches toll plaza the radio frequency (RF) field emitted from the antenna activates the transponder. The transponder broadcasts a signal back to the lane antenna with some basic information.

That information is transferred from the lane antenna to the central database. Toll tax is deducted from the driver if the toll lane has a gate. Then, a green light indicates that the driver can proceed.