Government says it is ready to cede management of some toll booths in the country to private companies.
It is part of efforts to maximise revenue to finance road expansion and improvement.
Though electronic toll booths at Tema Plaza and other places have recorded increased revenue, traffic delays and barrier lift failure are drawbacks.
However, a new electronic toll collection system with a mobile app is set to address such challenges.
It was developed by students of the Department of Computer Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
A survey by the Ministry of Roads and Transport reveals Ghana loses between 40% and 80% of revenue from toll booths.
To improve revenue generation, efforts were initiated to automate all 35 nationwide out of which only four have been completed.
“A 2017 NHIA report shows the government has received 1.2 billion cedis as revenue but had a debt of 7 billion,” referenced Tabitha Ama Abeka, one of the two final year student innovators.
She and her colleague, Christabel Acquaye, set out to look for ways to maximize the efficiency of electronic toll booth systems.
Christabel Acquaye(L) and Tabitha Ama Abeka (R)
Emphasis was on reducing traffic congestion, fuel consumption and saving travel time.
The system consists of a central database and web server that stores and retrieve information about registered vehicles.
The tag can be placed at the windshield, embedded within the DVLA roadworthy sticker, vehicle registration or licensed plate.
As the vehicle reaches the barrier a reader scans and deduct the toll from the prepaid account.
“The account works like the prepaid system we have except in this case we have a tag having information on a vehicle. Anytime you reach the toll gate you wouldn’t have to stop,” Christabel Acquaye noted
Vehicles owners can, therefore, see the transaction and manage account information on their mobile phones.
The system records negatives for defaulters who are required to pay all debts before the renewal of roadworthy certificates.
The proposed system also permits the quick tracking of vehicles as the location information of vehicles is stored during toll deduction.
This provides the opportunity for the law enforcing agencies to quickly zone in on the location of reported stolen vehicles by using data collected from the system in addition to other surveillance systems.
There is also the possibility of integration with commercial vehicle and fleet management systems for the purposes of tracking fleet movement.
The proposed solution eliminates human contact in the toll collection on the roads, thereby minimizing revenue leakages and eliminating congestion at toll collection booths.