KUALA LUMPUR: Major highway operators in the country are expected to increase their toll charges either by 2011 or 2012.
PLUS, which operates the North-South Expressway (NSE), Kesas, Sprint and SecondLink in Johor are all expected to increase toll rates under their concessionnaire agreements.
Under a supplementary agreement signed on April 29, 2004, toll on the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) is scheduled to be raised from RM1.60 to RM2 this year.
Declassified toll agreements at the Works Ministry’s library showed that PLUS will raise its toll charges from 14.96 sen per kilometre at present to 16.46 sen by 2011 for Class One vehicles, which are private cars.
Under its supplementary agreement with the Government in 2001, Sprint is scheduled to increase toll charges from RM2 to RM3 for Bukit Penchala, RM1.50 to RM2.50 for Pantai and RM1 to RM1.50 for Damansara.
Kesas, which operates the Shah Alam Expressway, will raise its toll charges from RM2.20 for private cars to RM3 in 2012.
SecondLink’s toll charges will also be reviewed in 2012 and it is expected to impose higher rates from 2013, which will see motorcyclists having to pay RM2.10 from RM1.60 at present at the Tanjung Kupang toll plaza, and motorists up to RM13.70.
SecondLink’s previous increase was last year.
The Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) operator, has signed a supplementary agreement with the Govern-ment to share its profits, while PLUS and SecondLink have also inked similar deals.
Under its supplementary agreement signed in 2004, the highway operator agreed to let the Government have 20% of its revenue between 1999 and last year, and 25% between this year and 2020 if its toll collection hits the yearly projected revenue.
In an agreement in 2000, Second-Link agreed to let the Government have a half-share of its toll revenue if its actual toll collection is more than the projected toll from 2032, and 70% from 2037.
The concession expires in 2038 and the operator has projected toll revenue of about RM623mil for 2038.
DAP MP Tony Pua said the formula under the SecondLink agreement would indicate that toll charges would increase at a faster rate with more people using the link.
On his suggestion for the Government to take over LDP, Pua said it was a viable option as the Government had already paid RM630mil in compensation for a 50 sen reduction in toll charges.
In George Town, ANDREA FILMER reports Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as saying that the Federal Government should buy over all the major highway concessions in the country and run them as a business.
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