Motorists using the barricade-free M-Flow system are being reminded that a fine equivalent to 10 times the unpaid toll will strictly apply to any overdue payments from Friday, as the Department of Highways plans to adopt a new deadline of seven days for late payment.
Previously, when the new system was launched on Feb 15 on Motorway 9 (Bang Pa-In-Bang Phli) at the gates of Thap Chang 1, 2 and Thanyaburi 1 and 2, those who did not register for the service could use the M-Flow lane but they needed to pay the service fee within two days of passing the tollgates -- or cough up the hefty 10-fold fine.
Yet following a large number of complaints by those who were not aware about the rule, the department agreed to defer the plan until today, while returning all the fines already collected.
About 95% of those who paid the fine have since got their money back, said department director-general Sarawut Songsiwilai.
According to information revealed recently by the department, it had lost 10.3 million baht in revenue from returning the collected fines to 23,563 motorists as of March 21.
Aimed at easing congestion at toll gates, M-Flow is being piloted as part of a plan to remove all toll-gate barriers by 2024.
To encourage more motorists to switch to using it, another 100,000 rewards will be offered to those applying for membership, in addition to the 20% discount being offered in the first three months, he said.
The new rewards allow people to use the service twice for free.
Motorists currently using either M-Flow or the two pre-paid toll payment services -- M-Pass and Easy Pass -- now account for 40% of all motorists using the expressway and motorways, Mr Sarawut said.
This has grown from 25-30%, an indication that more people are interested in paying their toll fees via these systems, he noted.
Regular users of M-Pass and Easy Pass are being urged to switch over to M-Flow entirely to boost efficiency as cars can breeze through without even stopping, he added.