Following the recent statement by the Ministry of Finance on the proposed takeover of four tolled highways, initial projections estimate that commuters will save up to RM 180 million per year with the switch from toll to the congestion charge.
In a statement by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the Government will also save RM 5.3 billion in compensation fee to continue freezing toll rate hikes.
YB Lim also said the acquisition should take about six months to complete.
The four arterial highways in Klang Valley, which are controlled by Gamuda Bhd are Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP, E11), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT, E23), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (KESAS, E5), and the SMART Tunnel, E38.
In a report by The Star daily, the market share of these four highways based on the toll revenue collected is around 48 percent.
To recap, the Government plans to take over the highways and introduce three-tiered usage fee on these four highways to fulfil its 2018 election manifesto of abolishing tolled highways:
- Full rate termed ‘Congestion charge’ for six “peak” hours a day
- Free access for usage between 11 pm to 5 am
- Other hours to only be charged 70% of the existing toll rates
The revenue collected will be channelled towards the operation and maintenance of the highways, repayment of borrowings, as well as improve the quality of public transportation.
Analysts, however, have doubts on the collected revenue to be sufficient to cover the said costs.