Other digital payment methods must be implemented on highways by 2025.
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Works Minister Fadillah Yusof said that highway tolls will soon have to offer digital payment alternatives, according to Free Malaysia Today.
This means that Touch ‘N Go will lose its current monopoly on the usage of toll payments via Touch ‘N Go card and SmartTag.
This announcement comes hot on the heels of the nightmare congestion when Touch ‘N Go’s RFID lanes replaced the SmartTag lanes, which prompted calls from commuters and the government to have alternative payment options to avoid future traffic issues.
Additionally, the Works Ministry has also instructed highway concessionaires to prepare for the implementation of a multi-lane free flow (MLFF) system by 2025.
The MLFF is aimed to help ease traffic and reduce congestion as it is a barrier-free tolling system.
Similar to the toll system in Singapore, the MLFF does not have toll booths or dedicated lanes. Instead, it will use a gantry structure that has automated number plate recognition (ANPR) to charge the toll fee.
However, the Works Ministry notes that the new changes and introduction of other digital payment options will also depend on the rate of adoption of RFID tags within the population.
RFIDs are a unique sticker that is attached to your vehicle, embedded with a radio frequency chip.
It allows you to link whatever mode of digital payment you prefer. This includes anything from your existing Touch ‘N Go card to any debit or credit card as long as the highway accepts such a mode of payment.
This also means that you will no longer need to rely on Touch ‘N Go cards or SmartTags alone to use the highways if you have one dedicated vehicle you drive regularly.
However, if you swap, rent, or borrow cars not linked to your account, then it may still be best to rely on a simple Touch ‘N Go card.
Regardless, it looks like Malaysia’s highway tolls are going to look quite different in just a few years!
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.