PETALING JAYA: Hold your horses! Even when the Government manages to abolish toll, highway users will still be charged for usage based on time of day.
The new plan is called congestion charge and is a compromise in a way. The congestion charge is necessary to pay for the operation and maintenance of the highways and repayment of borrowings. Any surplus will go into a public transportation fund to improve the quality of public transport.
The Prime Minister’s Office said on Saturday that the “congestion charge” would be introduced, equivalent to the existing toll for six hours of “peak” period a day.
During “off peak” periods between 11pm and 5am, highway users can travel for free.
“At other normal travelling hours, commuters will enjoy discounted rates of up to 30%, compared to existing toll rates,” it said.
“Further details on the proposed exercise will be announced by the Finance Minister at the appropriate time,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
In a related development, the government said it has begun talks with Gamuda Bhd to negotiate the acquisition of highway concession for four main highways as part of its promise to abolish tolls in stages.
The four highways are Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas) and SMART Tunnel.
“Pakatan Harapan has promised in its election manifesto to take steps to acquire highway concessions and abolish tolls in stages, in accordance to the terms of the concession agreement.
“This is to alleviate the high cost of living for highway users.
“Upon the successful takeover, the government intends to abolish the existing toll mechanism,” said the Prime Minister’s Office.