People use highways mainly to save time by avoiding traffic jams. When it comes to Sri Lankan expressways, people lose their gained time at the counters due to long queues, especially during peak hours. To overcome this issue, RDA Sri Lanka increased the number of toll plazas, but it did not provide a solution to the issue.
Both E02 and E03 expressways do not operate at their maximum traffic handling potential. Several studies and best practices by other countries suggest several best practices to maximize the traffic flow on existing expressways, such as congestion pricing and real-time travel management.
This study aims to evaluate a system to increase expressway usage while decreasing the queues at the toll plazas.
Traffic jam near Ja-Ela expressway exit toll gate between 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm (Weekday)
Let’s understand some technical terms and how we can apply them to the research.
What is ANPR Technology?: The advancement of computer vision-related artificial neural network (ANN) innovations in image text recognition systems enables Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) or Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology.
Application: ANPR technology uses the scanned image of the number plate and converts it to a text and uses the text as the vehicle identification at the toll gates.
What is the Subscription Business Model?: Instead, of paying for the product or service each time the customer uses it, the subscription business model allows users to register and use the product or the service at regular intervals.
Application: Instead of regular payment collections, people have an option to subscribe to a particular expressway and travel without waiting in queues at toll gates.
What is MLFF?: The multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) is a system that allows free-flow high-speed tolling for all highway users.
The Proposed Expressway Toll Collection Mechanism.
A subscription-based tolling system should implement on top of an advanced technical tolling system.
MLFF is already implemented in many countries successfully. It is also equipped with ANPR technology and congestion pricing-related traffic management. Therefore, the MLFF mechanism can consider a subscription payment system instead of a regular payment system. Therefore, the study is focusing on the user acceptance of an automated, congestion-based, subscription payment collection system.
The proposed system is not suitable for non-regular expressway users. A limited number of MTC gates should operate to provide service for them.
Research Supervisor: Professor Chandana Perera
Download the research paper