Pune News: FASTag Issue Halts Nine MSRTC Buses on Expressway

Pune News: FASTag Issue Halts Nine MSRTC Buses on Expressway

Pune News: FASTag Issue Halts Nine MSRTC Buses on Expressway (Representational pic)

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A journey from Thane to Pune turned into a difficult experience for passengers of nine e-Shivneri buses on Wednesday morning. The vehicles were halted at the Khalapur toll plaza due to issues with their FASTag stickers, which prevented payment of toll charges.

The buses, belonging to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) Swargate depot, were stopped from crossing the toll booth because the FASTag stickers were not working. This resulted in significant delays.

A passenger on one of the buses recounted the experience to TOI, explaining that after boarding the bus in Navi Mumbai at around 6 am, it reached the Khalapur toll plaza where it remained stationary for nearly 15 minutes. The driver informed passengers that the FASTag stickers were not functional, and hence, the bus could not proceed.

More e-Shivneri buses soon arrived and encountered the same problem. Attempts were made to redistribute passengers among the buses, but all were affected by the FASTag issue, leading to a queue of 9-10 buses.

The toll rate for buses is Rs900, and without a functioning FASTag, double the amount must be paid. Faced with this situation, passengers began collecting money to pay the toll. However, just as they were about to pay, the FASTag system started working again, and the buses were able to pass through the toll booth.

Passengers spent one-and-a-half hours stuck at the toll plaza, causing frustration and prompting calls for MSRTC to improve their systems. One passenger expressed disbelief that all the buses could face the same issue, while other vehicles passed through without any problems.

Pramod Nehul, divisional controller of MSRTC Pune, confirmed the incident, stating that the problem was due to bank issues despite sufficient balance in the FASTags. He mentioned that the state transport body transfers around Rs7-8 lakh daily into FASTag accounts.

In February, state transport officials announced the introduction of six electric AC Shivneri buses operating on the MTHL (Atal Setu) route between Thane and Pune. These services are intended to save travel time, with buses running from Mantralaya to Pune station via Dadar, Dadar to Swargate, Pune railway station to Mantralaya, and Swargate to Dadar at various times.