JOHOR BARU: In a move to ease congestion at the Johor Causeway, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today a reduced levy and toll rates at the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link.

The Barisan Nasional chairman denied that the announcement was an “election candy” as it was not decided alone, but together with Singapore as well.

“The Cabinet has approved the proposal on the toll and levy reduction, while Singapore has agreed to match the rates,” he said after a Muar community event at Bukit Mor in Parit Jawa here.

The move, which takes effect from Tuesday, will see commercial vehicles paying a levy of just RM50 to enter from either side of the bridge.

In a separate media statement, Najib said currently these vehicles paid a levy of between RM100 and RM200.

As for toll rates, Najib said, they will be reduced between 47 and 82 per cent depending on vehicles class and time of the day.

Without explaining in detail, he said there will be different toll rates between 10am and 3pm, and between 11pm and 5am.

“The new (toll) rates are as follows: individual vehicle will now be paying RM4 from RM7.50, taxis to pay RM3 from RM5.70, busses to pay RM4.50 from RM9.10.

“Commercial vehicles of both categories will pay revised rates of RM4.50 and RM6.10 respectively,” he said in the statement.

The new rates, however, do not take into account motorcycles.

Najib said this move is expected to reduce the number of commercial vehicles at the Johor Causeway by 40 per cent.

Other steps to address traffic jams at the Causeway, Najib said, include the construction of the four-kilometre Rapid Transit System, connecting Johor and Singapore.

The rail system is scheduled for completion in 2020.

“KTMB will also be increasing the number Tebrau Shuttle from 26 to 31 trips per day,” he said, adding that this can ferry an additional 1,500 passengers across the coast.

This, Najib said, can also have a positive effect on the tourism industry, adding that tourists may opt to use the train to get to and from both countries.

Najib added that a team headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been established to look at long term solutions for traffic woes, with a single checkpoint between Malaysia and Singapore being mulled.

Source: Malay Mail