Improve efficiency at toll booths in Mumbai- charge toll while entering, not while exiting
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Currently Mumbai has 5 entry and exit points at which toll is charged. At each of these points, toll is charged in both directions: the entry into the city and the exit from the city. When I was returning from a holiday, the car was stuck in a traffic jam at the toll booth for over twenty minutes, and naturally everybody was annoyed. I asked everybody in the car why there was toll collection for both the entry and the exit and why they couldn’t just double the rate, but charge toll in only one direction. Since every car that comes into the city will also leave the city, and every car that leaves the city will also come back into the city, there would be no loss of revenue for the government, but a lot of time will be saved for the people. The number of vehicles that only enter or only leave the city is negligible. Nobody had any answer to the question, so I decided to go ahead and look at the numbers, analysing how this would be beneficial to the city as a whole.
The benefits of this proposal are not just in the time saved. It will also save money in terms of the fuel wasted in keeping the engine running for that much longer. It will also decrease the amount of pollution we create daily, though only by little. If it was considered before the toll booth was made, it would have saved the extra cost of building the toll booth. All the employees can then work on tolls in the same direction, increasing the efficiency of the booth and decreasing the time taken for vehicles to cross the booth.
My calculations show that the people of Mumbai lose out on approximately Rs. 8.3 Crore per month due to the existence of a toll booth on the entrance and exit of the city. This comes to about Rs. 100 Crore wasted in a year. This is the result when all conservative numbers are used. Most vehicles would have more than 2 people and therefore this number is likely to increase. This is an unnecessary wastage of money and although it is not a very large amount, absolutely no money needs to be invested in order to save this money. Therefore, the MSRDC and the Government of Maharashtra should consider doubling the rate charged at the toll booth but charge toll only on the entry to Mumbai. The solution proposed requires absolutely no investment and will benefit the people of the city as well as the environment and can serve as a starting point to ease congestion at the toll booths.
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