JOHOR BARU - It’s happy faces all around at the four toll plazas across the country where toll was abolished at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day.
In the city, where it is now free to travel along the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL), businessman S. Veeran hopes to set aside over RM3,000 in savings from not having to pay toll.
The 31-year-old, who travels via the EDL to Singapore, used to spend about RM13.80 daily.
“I have been paying a lot since travelling to Singapore almost two years ago.
Hoping that Singapore would also reduce the charges on its side as well, company executive Ariffin Ahmad said at present, motorists paid about S$12.90 (RM38.70) for a trip in and out.
“All this will be huge savings for us,” he said, adding that he would use the money saved for his household expenses.
Toll for the EDL, along with that for the Sungai Rasau and the Batu Tiga toll plazas in Selangor and Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah, was abolished on Jan 1 as announced in Budget 2018.
The Works Ministry said motorists at three toll plazas – Sungai Rasau, Batu Tiga and Bukit Kayu Hitam – were given toll-free access 20 years earlier than the period stipulated in the North-South Expressway concession agreement.
In Shah Alam, the abolition has yet to sink in for many of the motorists travelling through the Sungai Rasau and Batu Tiga toll plazas.
Many were seen trying to flash their Smart Tags as they passed through the barricades, looking confused at the printed signage “Tiada Tol” (No toll) at Batu Tiga.
After several seconds, they drove away with a smile.
People took to social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to leave happy and grateful messages as well as funny anecdotes.
Kota Kemuning resident Shashi Dharan Nair, 38, wrote on Facebook about a man who had alighted from his car to look for a toll operator in Sungai Rasau.
“Another lorry driver stopped his vehicle and tried to top up his Touch ‘n Go card as well. I think it is a force of habit for many,” he said, adding that with the abolition, he would save up to RM60 a month.
Subang Jaya resident Leha Aziz said she could now use the Federal Highway to get to her office in TTDI Jaya Shah Alam instead of using non-toll roads.
“I used to go through the many traffic lights in Glenmarie to avoid the toll at Batu Tiga. Now, it will be a straight road for me without any charge and it will definitely save time,” she added.
The toll fare at Batu Tiga was RM1.10 while that charged at Sungai Rasau was RM1.