Getting a FASTag on your vehicle's front windshield has been made mandatory across the country from January 1 in order to ensure that electronic toll booth payments can be made for a hassle-free journey. A FASTag ensures that one need not stop at a toll booth to pay the required amount in cash, thus ensuring faster movement of vehicles. But hybrid lanes have been left open for - and till February 15 - with the objective of making the transition to electronic payment even smoother.
But what is a hybrid lane and why you can completely avoid this lane if your car is fitted with a FASTag with the necessary monetary balance?
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A hybrid lane, as the name itself suggests, is a lane which would allow both cash as well as electronic payments to be made. It is primarily for those who are yet to have a FASTag on their vehicle and may therefore have to pay in cash as has been done in the past.
Typically, movement in a hybrid lane will be slower than in a FASTag lane because while those with the required RFID tag will zip past, those without it will have to halt, make payment, wait for the boom barrier to open and then proceed. With more and more lanes at more and more toll plazas being converted to FASTag only, the hybrid lane or lanes are currently only to ensure that those without a FASTag can still pass through.
Come February 15 though and hybrid lanes will face extinction as the government is backing electronic toll payments to the fullest. This is because electronic payment ensures faster and smoother vehicle movement without the need for stopping, counting money, paying, getting a receipt and proceeding. RFID tags ensure that not only is time saved but fuel too because the long queues at many toll plazas will be a thing of the past.
If your vehicle currently has a FASTag installed, there is really no need for getting in a hybrid lane which, while allowing such vehicles to pass through automatically, may also see a rush of vehicles without the mandatory stickers.