FASTag : What, How & Why


Thread Starter #1
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Hi Guys, Hope you are doing well !

I got my FASTag (for ETC transactions) activated last week and have already used it 10-15 times on Mumbai-Pune expressway & NH4. It worked like charm but there are some things which definitely need improvement with the overall process. I have created a video of my overall view on the FASTag experience and what can be done to make it even better.

FASTag is near nonstop cashless toll money transfer process which is now operational across 300+ toll plazas in India. Its a radio-frequency identification technology (RFID) card. Its very simple-to-use, reloadable tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets one pass through the toll plaza without stopping for cash transaction.
In this video, we will go through the need, benefits, drawbacks and some cool suggestions to the FASTag process.

Can I request you guys to go through this and provide your feedback. If you find this helpful, please spread the word by sharing the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK8Nw_jFa2E
 
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This is very innovative.Appreciated :) BTW,Is this RFID Sensor present on all Toll Plazas ?
 
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Thread Starter #3
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Thanks Bharath. Appreciate the words of encouragement !
Currently the RFID readers are installed on approx 300 toll plazas, but this will be extended to all plazas as we go along. Whats important is, we need to get the tag fpr our cars and start using it from now itself to set the standard high.

We, as car enthusiasts, need to start now and ensure it goes in the right direction. Urging everybody to get it done today !
 
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The concept of time saving with FASTag is what lured me in getting one but finding cash paying vehicles plying in the dedicated FASTag lane is really a dampener. Due to this, even after the tag being read, the toll booth guy needs to reconfirm on intercom whether the transaction actually reflected in their system or not killing more time. A couple of months earlier, the lane used to be closed with cones and only after pointing towards the tag was the lane opened - it was so much easy back then.
 
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This is a terrific initiative indeed. Especially during the long weekends or festive periods when you simply have queues of cars lined up for miles. This will definitely cuts short the stoppage time at Toll as I have personally experienced the fruit of RFID here in Sydney. However the success of this initiative is in the implementation. I mean is there any way the authorities can avoid non-RFID cars cutting into the e-toll Road? If this does not happen, then it defeats the very purpose of this initiative. Nevertheless, I feel this is a brilliant start [thumbsup]. Is there any site that shows the Tolls where the RFID is active currently? I am more interested to know the Toll plazas in TamilNadu that has this RFID active.
 
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How to get FASTag in Bangalore

This is about "How to get FASTag in Bangalore". In June 2017, I attempted to get IT, found it IRRITATING and gave up. I got one today within 2 hours of my 1st call.

Long Story Short:


  1. Call either Mr.Yogesh, Yeswantpur / 903 609 5980 or Mr. Chandu, Jalahalli / 988 600 3839 / 080-2838 7755.
  2. This Chandu said he would service up to "Electronic City" Limits to the South and K.R.Puram to the East.
  3. Keep copies of your Aadhar, Car Regn and one Passport Size Photo.
  4. They will come and fix the FasTag on the Car.
  5. It would be activated within a short time. Took them an hour in my case.
  6. He charges Rs.100/- extra. Does it matter ???

Full Story:
I am planning to go to hometown this week, am worried about the long queues in Toll Plazas and I tried to get FasTag "online, called ICICI number and what not". I sent SMSs to ICICI and HDFC and got call from Reps. ICICI rep was disappointed that I had only one car. He didn't follow up after the 1st call. The SMS to HDFC resulted in a mail from hdfc.fastag@sahaj.co.in asking me to apply and transfer money to "Sahaj e-village limited", HDFC Bank, Kolkata.

I thought, "Kolkata ? You serious HDFC ?? What if the Tag gets lost in transit ???"... I didn't have interest to follow up that. I felt like getting Rs.50,000/- out of ATM during demonitisation drive. I just gave up.

Today, with the possibility of "getting stuck up in long Queues at ALL TollPlazas leading to Madurai" staring at me threateningly, I decided to get FasTag, COME WHAT MAY. After 15 minutes of usual on-line irritation for FasTag, my beloved God smiled upon me. This below, was the sequence:

  • at 10:48 am : I tried HDFC's toll free number 1800 120 1243. A lady listened patiently and gave me a B'lore number --- Mr.Yogesh, Yeswantpur / 903 609 5980.
  • at 10:53 am : I called Mr.Yogesh. After talking to him and his Manager, they promised to send their Rep to my office.
  • at 11:43 am : Their Rep, Mr. Chandu, Jalahalli / 988 600 3839 / 080-2838 7755 was at my office. I called Yogesh to verify the Rep, even though he was wearing a FasTag T-shirt. I gave him a copy of my Aadhar Card, Car Regn copy and one Photo. I wrote my mobile number, mail ID and signed on the Application Form. I also gave Rs 1,300/- (though Rs. 400 would have done the job). They stuck the RFID card to the inside of the Wind Shield, took some photos of Car and left.
  • At 12:41 pm : HDFC sent me a SMS with details of my "FasTag Customer ID" and "Wallet ID". 5 minutes later Mr. Chandu called and said my A/c was activated and HDFC confirmed same via a 2nd SMS.

Within 130 Minutes
of the 1st call to Mr.Yogesh, my FasTag was up and ready to go. THAT, my friends, IS Service. Now to photos...


The view from outside the Car:
1.jpg
The two lines that you see in the center of the Pic are Reflections of the Roof in our Co car parking lot. (Ohhhh Yahhhh... it is a covered car park [evil] )


The view from the Driver's Seat: The IRVM hides the FasTag card and no loss of view for Driver [clap]
2.jpg


Close up view from inside: I don't know what the "4 within circle" means.
3.jpg


Online Screen: I could log-in as a 1st time user, using Customer ID, create password blah blah blah. Subsequently I could use my Cr Regn Nr and same password and enter the site. Two grudges... my name is wrong spelled and I could not see the balance amount in accound using "Mobile Browser". Mr.Murphy always laughs at me [frustration]

4.jpg


Wallet Balance: Rs. 1000/- in accound with Rs. 200/- as deposit.
5.jpg

Waiting for the weekend trip.


For those from other Cities:
Call HDFC's toll free number 1800 120 1243 and they may give a local number near your location.

HDFC's FasTag Link: HDFC Bank's FasTag link for first time users, subsequent users etc is https://fastag.hdfcbank.com/RetailRoadUserLogin

Disclaimer:
Apart from using HDFC Credit Cards, availing HDFC Ergo once (was it twice ??) and this FasTag mentioned above, I do NOT have any other interest in HDFC. I am NOT promoting HDFC FasTag. I just got IRRITATED in my attempts to get FasTag thro ICICI. I could have as well successfully procured few F-16 Fighter Planes. FasTag may also be available from Axis Bank and Karur Vysya Bank etc.
 
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On 9th Aug, a FasTag card was installed in my car with a balance of Rs 1000. I wrote about it in Post # 10 above. Just TWO days later, I was on my way to my hometown and the Tag was put to use for the first time. Result ??? Shock and embarrassment.

  1. On the afternoon of 11th Aug, when I crossed the "Electronic City Elevated Tollway and "Attibele" TollPlaza (a little later), my FasTag Card was declared as SUSPENDED / INVALID.
  2. I called HDFC's Toll Free number (at 5:08 PM on 11th) and was told that my A/c had ZERO balance and hence the Card was BLACKLISTED [frustration]. After some persuasion, they said their Tech guys will look into it.
  3. Within an hour, they called me to confirm that there was Rs 1,200/- in my Tag A/c and I felt "Thank You, Capt Obvious". Their Techs were still working on my case.
  4. But the case was NOT solved for the next three Toll Plazas, and the ETC Lane readers read "Invalid Car" (Oye, it has got 126 Horses, you Digital Dummy). Of course, I was allowed passage thro ETC Lane by paying Cash.
  5. Around 7PM, a HDFC Rep called and said "After activating the Tag, we send an SMS, which was NOT sent to you. We are sending SMS now. Sorry for the trouble". I got THE message at 7:17 pm and I have used the Tag 9 times so far.
  6. Nevertheless, I was glad I got a ETC Tag, while "Sailing thro' Toll Lanes, when other vehicles were waiting".
  7. HDFC's link gives a itemised list for "date, time, amount debited etc". There is about Rs 400 plus in my Tag account, as of now.
But, H of the D of the F of the Ceeeeeeeeeeeeeee, had I been a Lawyer, I would have dragged you to Court.

My detailed first time experience with FasTag is written here in this link (http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...2-crdi-ex-60-000-kms-update-7.html#post546073)

Ways to improve ETC Lane concept:

  1. What's the idea of "passing through the toll plaza without stopping (for the cash transaction)" if one has to wait for 10 minutes to locate and go thro' the ETC Lane ?
  2. And what is the point of keeping ETC at Different Lane Numbers at Different Booths ??
  3. There should be at least Six OPERATIONAL Lanes in every Plaza.
  4. A Barrier should be erected some 50m away from the Plaza, at the beginning of ETC Lane, to identify it better and also to ensure vehicles without Tag do not enter and delay those with Tag.
  5. FasTag should be made mandatory for ALL Commercial vehicles (Bus / Trucks / Tempos etc) carrying loads above certain capacity.
  6. The two left most lanes (at Toll Plazas) should be made "ETC Lanes for Commercial Vehicles".
  7. The faster "Right Most Lane" should be the ETC Lane for passenger cars
Above are not perfect but I think are food for thought. We can save Millions of Liters of Fuel across India, if ETC is implemented correctly.
 
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ETC is far from perfect. For passing the toll once, my tag from ICICI was debited twice - once when originally passed and again a month later in the name of dispute by Toll for twice the amount. Still patiently waiting for a solution chances of which do not look good.
 
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Yesterday traveled from Pune to Mumbai and again back from Mumbai to Pune via expressway. I could not see any lane dedicated for Fastag. Also all lanes were flooded (as usual) by non Fastag vehicles. [drive]
 
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Saw this news in Today's ToI, B'lore Edition. Highlights from the report are given below, alongwith my comments / reviews.

(A) NHAI has launched an App (Android / iOS) - MyFastag :

  • Would help users "Buy the Tag and Recharge".
  • Choosing "Buy" option will help one to BUY THE TAG from "equitas, ICICI, HDFC, paytm, IDFC, SBI & PNB". Surprisingly, Axis Bank (Fastag link) and Karur Vysya bank (Fastag link) are MISSING. Grrrrrrrr.
  • App can be used to BUY the Tag first time. Eenter "Name, Regn Nr & Mobile Nr" and just submit (from the App). News claims that "the Tag will be delivered within two days". This buying task was tedious, when I tried few months ago.
  • App can also be used for Recharging the Tag. I tried for my HDFC... The Captcha is not showing, not recharging ... How could I then log in and recharge ??? (Grrrrrrrr) squared.
Team NHAI, don't you guys know something about "internal testing" before releasing the App ? My browser is good enough for recharging. And it remembers my login ID and password for the Tag. If NHAI guys ensure that the Tag is delivered within a week, I will be GLAD [lol]Otherwise, this is a Junk Grade APP, IMHO.

(B)
Another App - Fastag Partner :
RFID Tags have been factory installed in Cars since 2013. Some 74 Lakhs such RFIDs are not used now. This App is expected to convert them into FasTags. Let's see [glasses]

(C) From 1st Sep, one Lane at 371 Toll Ps will be opened for FasTag vehicles. Will it be in addition to the existing dedicated Lanes or else .... ???

(D) From Oct, ALL Lanes in ALL (or is it 371) Toll Ps will have Tag readers. I see one advantage and one disadvantage here. Even when I am unable to align with Fastag lane, I need NOT pay by Cash. Problem is, "Fastag vehicles will loose out the current dedicated lane advantage and could spend more time at Toll Ps" [frustration]

Here is the news article :
RF ID Tag.jpg
 
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Almost every Truck has FasTag now, and they fill up the lane. Many a times I go into cash lane because that is moving 10 times faster. They should make a dedicated fastag lane for private cars only.
 
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