PETALING JAYA: After Malaysia’s move to lower toll rates at the Second Link, Singapore says it will follow suit in two months.
Writing on his Facebook wall late last night, Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the toll rates on the Tuas side of the second bridge connecting Johor and the island republic will be reduced effective April 1.
“The matter was discussed between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak at the Leaders’ Retreat last month.
“Reducing tolls at Second Link was one suggestion. Implementation has been swift. Malaysia has just announced that tolls at Second Link will be reduced during off peak periods,” Khaw wrote.
He added that the Singapore government welcomed the move and hoped it will encourage some road users to shift out of the peak hour period, when both sides of the link have reduced tolls from April.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) said effective April 1 toll charges for all vehicles (except motorcycles) leaving and entering the Republic through Tuas Checkpoint will enjoy reduced charges of more than 85% during the off-peak hours of 10am to 3pm, and 11pm to 5am daily. The LTA will also revise the peak period tolls – from 5am to 10am and 3pm to 11pm – to adjust for changes in exchange rates since the tolls were last set in 2010.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that the commercial vehicle levy at the Second Link, Linkedua, would be reduced to RM50 for vehicles entering and leaving Malaysia beginning Feb 13, down from the current rate of RM100 to RM200.
The toll rate outside peak hours at Linkedua, that is between 10am and 3pm and 11pm and 5am, for all vehicles, except motorcycles, would be reduced by between 47% and 82% according to the class of vehicles, according to the statement.
“The new (toll) rates are as follows: individual vehicle will now be paying RM4, down from RM7.50; taxis to pay RM3, down from RM5.70, buses to pay RM4.50, down from RM9.10,” the statement said.
Later, at a press conference in Muar, Najib said: “All these are being done with two aims, to help reduce traffic congestion and to increase tourist arrivals.”
Meanwhile, Khaw also wrote about the expected congestion in the coming week for the Chinese New Year celebration, on both the Causeway and Second Link.
“To ease the congestion we are also working with KTMB to increase the frequency of their Tebrau Shuttle from 26 trips to 31 trips daily starting next Tuesday, Feb 13, in time for Chinese New Year”.
“With these measures, we can confidently wish for smoother flow of traffic,” Khaw said.