Companies now, public later for Harbour Bridge automated toll system
The rollout of the multi-million-dollar automated toll system for commuters at the Demerara Harbour Bridge commenced on Friday but only companies are currently being registered.
The Bridge Corporation says it intends to begin registration for the wider Guyanese public in the near future.
After the corporation wraps up the registration of companies, it will inform the general public via its website and social media platforms of a commencement date for registering individuals.
“What we’re doing today, we’re actually registering the charge companies,” General Manager of the DHBC, Wayne Watson told the News Room on Friday while providing an update on the rollout of the system.
Watson said the automated toll system is aimed at improving efficiency, noting that on many occasions persons would arrive at the toll booths with large bills to pay the minimal crossing fee which would cause a delay in traffic.
“We’re encouraging every and all persons who can do the registration that they do. It eliminates to a greater extent time wastage,” Watson added.
To register for the automated system, commuters must have a Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) account before proceeding to the DHBC website at harbourbridge.gov.gy to complete the application process.
Once that is complete, commuters will be required to visit the Peters Hall, East Bank Demerara office with their vehicle to be verified and registered in the system at which time the radio frequency identification (RFID) tag is installed on the vehicle.
With the automated tolling system, when drivers approach the tolls, the scanners installed above the booths will detect the barcode on the RFID tag which will be communicated to the computerised system and the necessary deductions will be made from the MMG account.
Watson, however, noted that other agencies similar to MMG are interested in offering their services and as such the corporation is exploring the possibility of having those agencies be onboard.
“It’s not mandatory to register. All the toll stations will still be working to cater to persons who decide that they don’t want to register and the same toll clerks will be manning the RFID platform,” Watson said.
As the vehicles approach the toll booths from approximately 100ft away from the scanners, the toll clerk will be alerted if the payment is successful before the vehicle passes.
“If a person decides to proceed without paying, then we’ll alert the security personnel we have on the western side as well as the eastern side,” Watson said.
“Also, we have the speed bump to ensure persons do not exceed the rate that is required to ensure that there is a smooth scanning process to do the necessary deductions as per vehicle type,” he added.
The DHBC is looking to target some 1,500 registrations within the next month. So far, they have received a number of calls signalling a strong interest in the new system, Watson highlighted.
The RFID system at the Harbour Bridge is a test-run and data gathering exercise as the same system will be implemented at the new Demerara Harbour Bridge.