KUALA LUMPUR: A much-anticipated reduction in toll rates fizzled out yesterday, with only one of the 23 concessionaires agreeing to reduce the rates.
PLUS Expressways Bhd agreed to reduce toll rates for its PLUS and Elite highways by 10 per cent -- but only for travel between midnight and 7am from Jan 1 for two years.
Its managing director Noorizah Abd Hamid said there would be a further 10 per cent reduction for travel during the same off-peak hours during festive periods such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas.
The discounted rates would apply at the time of exit.
Speaking at the Works Ministry headquarters here yesterday, she said this move was part of a three-step initiative under its PLUS Travel Incentive Programme which will end on Dec 31, 2010.
The incentive programme is, however, awaiting approval by bondholders.
Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed, who was present, said he was confident bondholders would agree to it.
"We are also confident that they will be able to make up for the loss in toll collections with higher traffic volume," he said.
With the 10 per cent discount, it would cost RM23.80 instead of RM26.50 for a one-way off-peak journey from Jalan Duta toll to the Ipoh Selatan toll.
"At the festive discount of up to 20 per cent, it would only cost RM21.40," Noorizah said.
To encourage more highway users to use the electronic payment system, the third initiative involves a rebate of five per cent for those who spend at least RM200 a month on toll charges on PLUS and Elite highways.
Noorizah said the incentive programme was a corporate social responsibility initiative aimed at encouraging its highway users to travel during off-peak hours.
"Currently, 10 per cent of our highway users travel between midnight and 7am.
"We are hopeful that the incentive will make more users travel during off-peak hours.
"This will help distribute traffic better and our highway users can have a smoother ride."
Noorizah said they had not worked out the earnings impact on the company but believes that it will be manageable.
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