Cashless toll collection system promises to reduce jams

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Last-gasp rush: Motorists waiting outside the Penang Bridge PLUS customer service counter to buy their Touch ‘n Go cards. -Asri Abdul Ghani/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Toll collection at three major highways in Kuala Lum­pur and seven toll plazas around the countrygoescashless from today under a move that promises to smoothen traffic flow.

Toll plazas at Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh), Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) and Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE) highways, will be the first in Kuala Lumpur to have a fully electronic toll collection (ETC) system.

They will also be joined by those in Jitra, Bukit Kayu Hitam, and Lunas in Kedah, Kubang Semang and Penang Bridge in Penang, and Gombak and Bentong at the KL-Karak highway.

In the city alone, having fully electronic toll collection is expected to help reduce traffic congestion by about 20% to 30%.

To encourage motorists to pay elec­­tronically, many concessionaires have been throwing in offers.

The AKLEH and DUKE concessionaires were offering a 5% rebate for Class One motorists (cars, vans and small trucks) for three months.

SmartTAG units would also be sold at a special price of RM99, from today until the stocks last,

AKLEH general manager Engku Mohd Fauzi Engku Hatim said: “We have 22 lanes in total and we have been switching the mixed mode lanes (cash and Touch ’n Go) to only Touch ’n Go lanes in stages.

“Rela officers will also assist highway patrol officers to control the traffic situation.

“We have also increase our support staff to promote the ETC and to sell Touch ’n Go cards,” he said.

He said a smooth transition was expected with electronic toll collection rising from 65% in January to 89% at present for the Datuk Ke­­ramat toll plaza.

Ekovest Berhad managing director Datuk Lim Keng Cheng said ETC penetration at DUKE reached 85.8% after they started publicising the con­­version to the cashless system and the sale of Touch ’n Go cards.

He said that their staff would also be on standby to assist motorists by selling RM5 Touch ’n Go cards.

PLUS Malaysia Bhd general manager (operations) Norbayati Manap said top up service and purchase of electronic access cards would be available 24 hours at the extreme left booth, as the final phase of the cashless system is imposed in the last five open toll booths in the northern region.

She said motorist can also top up their MyKad which have the Touch ’n Go features.

She said the implementation of the fully electronic payment system in the northern region today marks the completion of the cashless system in all the 14 open toll plazas nationwide. – The Star Online

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