Expressway toll payments by 'touch' credit card next year

Expressway toll payments by 'touch' credit card next year

Din Daeng toll plaza. (File photo)
Din Daeng toll plaza. (File photo)

Motorists will be able to use credit cards to pay toll fees next year, starting with the Kanchanapisek expressway in January, the Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat) announced on Wednesday.

Exat governor Suchart Chonsakpipat unveiled the planned use of credit cards at an event marking the 47th anniversary of the expressway agency.

Toll fee payments would be made via EMV (Euro/MasterCard and Visa) cards, simply by touching them to plates at toll booths under a system to be known as "touch&go", Mr Suchart said.

The Kanchanapisek Expressway had been chosen for the first trial, a project expected to begin in January next year. It would later be expanded to cover all expressway routes.

Exat will first accept credit cards of Krungthai Bank for toll fee payments, and later extend the scheme to other financial institutions, the governor said.

Credit card readers will be installed in the cash collection and Easy Pass channels. The use of credit cards will speed traffic flow and lessen congestion, he said.  

Commuters will also be able to use EMV cards to pay fares on public transport - electric trains, buses and boats - in the future.

Exat plans to give a five-baht discount per trip for Easy Pass users between 4am and 7am on the first second and second stages of expressways for two months from Jan 6 to March at six toll plazas: Din Daeng, Dao Khanong, Bang Na, Bang Chak, inbound Prachachuen, and Asok.

Exat and TrueMoney have jointly introduced a service for motorists to apply for Easy Pass electronic toll cards via TrueMoney Wallet application. The agency will send Easy Pass cards to users’ homes without collecting card fees until Feb 13.  This is expected to increase Easy Pass users by 10-15%. Currently, TrueMoney has about 8.5 million customers.

Mr Suchart said Exat will also look into expressway investment in neighbouring countries. Laos, for instance, planned to develop expressways, he added.

Exat was also eyeing expressway investment along the Thai-Lao border in the Northeast.

Over the next 10 years, Exat would extend the expressway networks by 140km, focusing on provinces and with investment of over 100 billion baht, he said.

The Kathu-Patong Expressway cost was about 14 billion baht and the 42km extension for the Udon Ratthaya Expressway required investment of 31 billion baht.

The 20km extension between Chatuchok and Lam Luk Ka for the Chalongrat Expressway required  investment of 20 billion baht.

Expressway projects in Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen cost 50-60 billion baht, while the extension for Burapha Withi-Chon Buri bypass required 7 billion baht.

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