Putrajaya takes first step towards abolishing highway tolls

The government intends to replace the existing toll with a ‘congestion charge’, with commuters only paying a ‘congestion charge’ during the peak six hours every day. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya today announced that it has initiated talks with Gamuda Berhad to negotiate the acquisition of highway concessions in which the company has a majority stake.

This step is in line with Pakatan Harapan’s 14th general election promise that it would abolish collection of toll at highways in stages and in accordance with terms of the concession agreement should it come to power.

The highways are the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas) and the SMART Tunnel.

In a statement today, the Prime Minister’s Office said that upon successful takeover of the highways, the government intends to abolish the existing toll mechanism.

“In its place, a ‘congestion charge’ will be introduced where commuters will only pay a ‘congestion charge’ equivalent to the existing toll for six hours, during the ‘peak’ period a day.

“During the ‘off-peak’ period, between 11pm and 5am, commuters will travel on the highway for free,” it said.

It also said that at other “normal” hours, the commuters will enjoy a discount of up to 30% compared with the existing toll rates.

“The revenue collected from the ‘congestion charge’ will go towards the operations and maintenance of the highways and repayment of borrowings.

“Any surplus collected will then be channelled into a public transportation fund to improve the quality of public transport in Malaysia,” the statement added.

The Prime Minister’s Office also said that the government’s move to abolish tolls will help commuters alleviate the high cost of living.