The iCHE2024 offers the opportunity to visit “M-Flow.” You can join the programme when registered.

What is M-Flow?  

In a strategic initiative aimed at mitigating traffic congestion at toll plazas, the Ministry of Transport in Thailand has successfully deployed an innovative electronic tolling system known as M-FLOW (Multi-Lane Free Flow). M-Flow seamlessly integrates cutting-edge technologies, incorporating transponders and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), to adeptly identify vehicles and streamline transaction processing. With an impressive throughput capacity, the M-Flow system effortlessly accommodates 2,000 – 2,500 vehicles per hour per lane, achieving speeds up to five times faster than traditional barrier-based tolling methods.

Motorists now experience a seamless traverse through toll plaza areas, eliminating the need for halting or deceleration, thereby significantly reducing delays—a long-standing challenge contributing to travel time inefficiencies. This groundbreaking system optimises toll payment processes and directly addresses a substantial component of travel time delays encountered at toll plazas.

In February 2022, the Department of Highways (DOH) achieved a significant milestone by inaugurating its first M-Flow implementation on the M9 motorway. This accomplishment involved transforming four toll plazas—Tap Chang 1, Tap Chang 2, Thanya Buri 1, and Thanya Buri 2—into a hybrid system, combining partial M-Flow tolling with conventional barrier-based tolling methods. Presently, the M-Flow system boasts 590,000 registered members and approximately 760,000 registered vehicles. The user base has witnessed a remarkable increase from 57,000 vehicle/days in the first month to 127,000 vehicles per day as of December 2023, constituting 40 percent of motorway users, with this proportion continuing to rise. Total transactions have surpassed 71 million to date.

M-FLOW has proven instrumental in reducing traffic queue lengths at toll plazas from 4 kilometers to 0.5 kilometers during peak times. Furthermore, the system’s benefits evaluation demonstrates a reduction in travel time delays by over 3.3 million hours annually, a decrease in gas consumption by more than 14 million liters per year, and a notable contribution to environmental conservation—reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions by 37,000 tons/year and 150 tons/year, respectively.

With these considerable benefits, the Ministry of Transport aims to extend M-FLOW implementation across the DOH’ motorways and EXAT’s expressways within the next five years. This will involve a hybrid system applied to currently operational motorways, including M7, and expressways such as Chalong Rat Expressway, Burapha Withi Expressway, Si Rat Expressway, Si Rat–Outer Ring Road Expressway, Chaloem Maha Nakhon Expressway, and under-construction motorways, namely M6 and M81. Additionally, fully open-road tolling systems will be implemented on the presently under construction motorway M82, and the Rama III – Dao Khanong-Outer Ring Road Expressway M82, and upcoming motorway M5 and M9 Bang Khun Tien – Bang Bua Thong. The successful implementation of M-FLOW represents a substantial leap forward in enhancing toll collection efficiency and reshaping the driving experience on Thai motorways and expressways.