The Expressway Rapid Transit Authority (ETA) officially started using the new M-Flow system at four gateways of Motorway No. 9 on Tuesday.
On Thursday morning, Nation reporters observed the use of the system at the Thap Chang 2 gateway during the rush hours.
The Thap Chang 2 gateway has four toll gates and the M-Flow system is used for the two rightmost gates. The remaining gates are uses as a cash gate and the old system M-pass automatic tollgate.
Long lines of vehicles were seen in front of the gateway during the rush hours apparently because motorists, who had not registered to use M-Flow, had to shift to left lanes to use the cash gateway or M-pass gateway. Not many vehicles were seen using the M-Flow gates.
Phetchara Rawangkarn, the manager of Thap Chang 2 gateway, said there were some hiccups during the first days of the implementation of the new system.
She said when vehicles, which have not been registered to use the new system, entered the gates, officials manning the gateway had to explain to them that they had to pay cash there or pay for the toll on the M-Flow website or payment services operators within two days or else they would have to pay a fine.
Some motorists said the traffic was slowed down because they had to switch to other lanes and they were not familiar with the new system yet. They complained that they found the registration for using the system at the website too complicated.
The M-Flow system uses artificial intelligence technology and video system to monitor vehicles that pass through the tollgates. Registered vehicles can go past the gates at full speed, 120 kilometres per hour, and they will be billed later for the usage. They can register their credit cards or debit cards to be charged automatically after each use or on a monthly basis.
So far, 34,200 vehicles have been registered to use the system. The ETA expects the number to increase by 2,000 a day.
Published : February 17, 2022
By : THE NATION