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ZINARA is now resorting to coupons to ease toll gate congestion

ZINARA toll gate, EcoCash, e-tolling, coupons, FTEP Frequent Travellers Express Pass ZINARA

ZINARA seems to have tried almost everything to get rid of the tollgate congestion. Late last year it partnered up with NMB Bank to increase tap card penetration in order to have an offline payment option at tollgates. But it looks as though that measure hasn’t worked and ZINARA is now reversing course from digital back to the bronze age with tollgate coupons.

During the National Assembly’s question and answer segment last Wednesday Minister for Transport Felix Mhona said the following after other parliamentarians asked what the govt was doing to address the situation at tollgates:

“As Government, within the last two weeks I actually engaged Zinara which is in charge of our tollgates and we are seized with this problem as we speak. They have introduced what they call the tap card which was giving problems, particularly three or four weeks ago but they have promised that now there is improved connectivity in terms of the point of sale where they have engaged a number of banks to partake in this very important programme”

(via The Chronicle)

The Minister went on to say that ZINARA will be introducing coupons in order to address the long wait times which are according to reports are up to 20 minutes or more.

It should be said that tollgates are a cash cow. They make a lot of money and Minister Mhona admitted that there are funds and he is confused as to why the departments responsible for making the neccessary upgrades are moving at a snail’s pace. The minister recently visited the Esigodini tollgate to see what was happening and said the following:

“I wanted to see what was causing the delay in the expansion of that tollgate. Remember there are two booths but we want it to have an additional two booths and also construct a canopy. And it had been like that for over two years, so Zinara availed funds for the expansion but it was an issue of coordination to see how they could expedite the project. So, I got the assurance from the provincial roads engineer that work will start soon,”

Coupons will just paper over the cracks

This coupon initiative is probably going to be around a lot longer than it should. In normal circumstances, things like these are only supposed to be a measure to allow for the necessary upgrades to revert back to electronic methods of payment. But with connectivity issues still unresolved and the expansion program stalling, these coupons (if they work) will probably be declared the gold standard for tollgates.

Another thing that ZINARA needs to address is how it designs tollgates. By that I mean wouldn’t it prudent to “overbuild” those in high traffic areas instead of then lethargically attempting to do so when they are overwhelmed?


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3 thoughts on “ZINARA is now resorting to coupons to ease toll gate congestion

  1. The tollgate delays have been with us for some time now and Zinara has been in a slumber. More saddening is that ministers responsible cannot do anything other than swallow every excuse for inaction.

  2. Also improve customer care especially esigodini mayiwe
    It’s a hassle to to load one card they even tell you they are busy come back later poor thinking the more of us having cards the less balancing they have to do a less cash to count
    When one give a complain also follow up advice

  3. Coupon system is being abused, we ordered to pay over $20 of driving a foreign vehicle if u don’t have a coupon. Right now as l am talking l have been standing for 4hours at lutumba toll gate

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