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Wednesday January 29, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday January 29, 2014 MYT 8:49:20 AM
by patrick lee
SUBANG JAYA: Discounts and rebates of between 5% and 37.5% will be given to motorists who use 23 highways during the Chinese New Year holidays.
Eighteen of them, according to the Malaysian Highway Authority
(MHA) and the Association of High-way Concessionaires (PSKLM) will offer the discounts to Class One vehicles over varying periods from Jan 30 to Feb 2.
Of these, 10 will offer the discount to all vehicle types.
Plus Malaysia Bhd will also be giving a 20% rebate for Class One drivers using SmartTAG and Touch n’ Go cards on five of its highways on Jan 29 and Feb 4. The Tanjung Kupang, Bukit Kayu Hitam and Sultan Iskandar Building toll plazas will be excluded from this offer.
(Class One vehicles are those with two axles and three or four wheels, but not taxis.)
Three highways (Grandsaga, SILK and LATAR) will not be giving discounts but will hand out between 1,000 and 1,500 free Touch n’ Go cards to motorists from Jan 31 midnight onwards.
Though lauding the discounts, some consumer groups said highway companies could have given more.
“They’re not obliged to give them, but they should offer something more attractive and meaningful,” said Muslim Consumer Association president Datuk Nadzim Johan.
He said larger discounts of up to 50% could have been offered to those driving during non-peak periods. People might be encouraged to travel during these times and if such discounts were there, traffic flow would be smoother.
Fomca secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj said bigger discounts would help motorists, many of whom were already burdened by recent price increases.
PSKLM president Datuk Noorizah Abd Hamid disagreed with these suggestions, adding that it would only lead to more congestion.
“If you were to give an incentive, it will jam-pack the highway even more because everybody will be flocking to the highways for the (specific) time,” she said.
Noorizah, who is also Plus Malay-sia Bhd managing director, advised motorists to follow traffic travel advisories for highways under its highways and the East Coast Expressway.
She said congestion would im-prove if people complied with these advisories, adding that they mostly did not in previous years.
She added that heavy highway traffic was expected on Jan 30 and 31, Feb 2 and 3, Feb 8 and 9.
Plan journeys to avoid the crawl
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