THE toll rates for commercial vehicles need to be reduced in order to reduce transport costs and make us more competitive.
Toll charges from Ipoh to Singapore cost about RM400 for a round trip which works out to about 20% of the transport costs.
This is eroding our competitive edge as a nation. The Government should look into reducing the rates for commercial vehicles by half. PLUS would not lose in terms of revenue as many transporters use local roads now just to avoid paying high toll charges.
But this has contributed to more accidents, which also have a high cost to the nation. When the rates are reduced, I am sure more transporters will use the expressways.
By cutting toll rates and hence the costs, local manufacturers would be able to price their goods competitively, hence increasing exports. This will result in an increase in toll collected by PLUS as well.
The toll pricing mechanism should be changed from a linear scale to a sliding scale, such that the further one travels on the highway, the less one pays per km.
The present flat rate does not encourage more frequent use of the highways as it encourages motorists to get out of the highways at the earlier exit to minimise charges.
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