No one likes sitting in a traffic jam, least of all daily motorists using the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL). But, now in order to minimise the wait at the entry and exit point at the toll plaza, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is toying with promoting the use of on-board units (OBUs), so that motorists are not inconvenienced.
The OBU is a small gadget that will be installed in the vehicle, and once the vehicle reaches the toll plaza, a scanner will process the information on the OBU and automatically raise the barrier in a matter of seconds. It’s an ideal way to pay the toll with as little fuss as possible. This quick transaction is what transport officials are banking on to reduce tailbacks.
MSRDC chief engineer SR Nandargikar said, “At times we have observed a long queue of cars stuck in traffic at the toll plaza at BWSL, and so we have decided that we will coordinate with Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEPL), the toll collecting agency, to promote the use of OBUs.”
Last year MSRDC purchased 5,000 OBUs, and some of these were given to MEPL to vend to motorists. The response, however, was lukewarm and the initiative was later discontinued. Sources allege the project lacked thrust and it wasn’t marketed effectively, and so now MSRDC wants to once again promote the use of OBUs, but this time with more impetus.
Meanwhile, an official from MEPL requesting anonymity said, “Shortly, we will be installing radio frequency identification system at one of the toll posts of Mumbai and in another three months we will launch it on a pilot basis. If it is successful then it will be duplicated at four other entry points of Mumbai.”