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Transport Minister: Drivers May Have To Pay 'Congestion Charge' To Enter KL

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Transport Minister: Drivers May Have To Pay 'Congestion Charge' To Enter KL

Driving into the city centre won’t just cost you petrol anymore as the government is looking into imposing a ‘congestion charge’, and this will, of course, start with Kuala Lumpur.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said this congestion charge is intended to be implemented alongside the completion of the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) project, itself scheduled to enter service around 2030.

Singapore ERP

The minister cited other major capital cities as examples of dense urban areas that have imposed such congestion charges, which levies a fee to drive into a certain location depending on the time of day and or, well, level of congestion. He probably means Singapore which was the first city to implement electronic road toll collection.

“Once it is completed in 2030, we will look back at the fee structure for vehicles entering the city,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. “When we have a completed public transport network system, then it is time to look at this particular component. This is the correct trend (to introduce the fee), not only for entering vehicles but in terms of environmental protection too.”

Bukit Bintang

In theory, this will encourage more people to enter the city via public transportation or other means, hence the coinciding completion window of the MRT3 line, that will not add to the traffic woes and air pollution that result from having a gridlock of too many vehicles, especially at peak travel hours such as the morning, mid-day, and evening.

That being said, it would mean an additional source of direct revenue for the government taken out of the pockets of everyday motorists.

RFID Sprint Highway

This is where a multi-lane free flow toll system such as the one portended by the much-maligned RFID system comes into play where a gantry could be set up at major roads leading into central KL.

Drivers will then be charged as they pass below it just as they would if they would a toll booth in the present day. However, we wouldn’t be paying highway concessionaires since these are roads that have existed for decades. Although, this still leaves the possibility of many drivers intentionally dodging the major routes into KL.

Multi-Lane Free Flow - Green Packet

Should such a congestion charge really be in the city’s future, a GPS-based toll charge system will have to be implemented to ensure every car is charged an equal amount regardless of how they got there. That’s another can of worms.

As for how much such a congestion charge could cost the Rakyat, that’s a mystery. But for a little reference, London charges its drivers £15 daily (RM82) if you drive within the Congestion Charge zone from 7:00-18:00 Monday-Friday and 12:00-18:00 Sat-Sun and bank holidays. Sounds fun.

Jim Kem

Jim Kem

Content Producer

There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.

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