Toll review to encourage travel at off-peak hours

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Toll review to encourage travel at off-peak hours

Postby admin » Fri May 23, 2008 1:20 am

MOTORISTS who travel during off-peak hours may save on toll.
Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said this was part of the review on highway concessions aimed at lowering toll rates.



"If one prefers to avoid heavy traffic by leaving for work early, we would like to give them an incentive because they are helping us to maintain a steady flow of traffic," said Mohd Zin.

He said they would study other countries that have successfully implemented a similar system such as Singapore that has a congestion pricing scheme offering peak and off-peak toll charges.


"Findings on the study will be presented to the cabinet in three months' time," Mohd Zin told the New Straits Times.



The ministry is also studying the introduction of "multi free-flow" lanes on major highways.

"Countries like Japan, South Korea and Australia have upgraded their infra-red system that we use for our Touch 'N Go lanes, to a microwave highway system that has multiple lanes that allow motorists to just drive through," he said.

Earlier in the House, Mohd Zin in reply to a supplementary question by Hee Loy Sian (PKR-Petaling Jaya Selatan), said congestion on alternative roads to tolled highways was caused by development in the area.



"We cannot stop the development in areas near the highways. It is costly for us to provide alternative routes or re-alignment at these places so we have to study other methods that contribute to a smoother highway traffic system," said Mohd Zin.

To Hee's original question on the compensation given to the concessionaires of the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) and the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) for not raising the toll rates, Mohd Zin said RM630 million was paid to LDP's concessionaires Litrak Sdn Bhd since the highway was opened in 1999.

He said the toll rates on LDP were restructured twice in 1999 and 2007 to ease the burden of motorists.

Litrak had planned to charge RM1.50 for Class One vehicles when they first opened but agreed with the recommendations by the government to lower the rate to RM1.

"We paid RM480.54 million to Litrak as compensation after the first restructuring in 1999."

A second restructuring was done after toll rates were reviewed and increased last year.

"Litrak suggested RM2.10 after the review but settled for RM1.60 after negotiations and was paid RM150 million in compensation last year," he said.

However, no restructuring of toll rate was done for NPE.

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