JOHOR BARU: Adequate notice had been given to motorists on the change to a cashless toll payment system at the Second Link in Gelang Patah, Johor, from the middle of September, the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) claimed.
A MHA spokesman said that banners advertising the change were put up along the highway two weeks before the new system was implemented.
Following the change, motorists have to use Touch & Go cards to pay the toll.
“We are aware of the problems of motorists and looking at ways to make the Touch & Go cards more easily available, including selling them in Singapore,” he said.
He said the new system was better than cash transactions and would enable faster service.
The switch raised the ire of Malaysians and foreigners who use the Second Link regularly.
Hazah Mohd Aris, 45, felt the authorities should have given more warning about the switch.
“Imagine how traffic will be affected when people are stuck at the toll booths without the Touch & Go cards,” she pointed out.
Hazah said that MHA should have used more channels to publicise the change than relying only on banners and posters along the highway.
Rahman Lambak, 58, suggested that the highway management set up more counters for motorists to buy Touch & Go cards.
“They should sell the cards at the toll booths to avoid problems for the users,” he said.
The businessman from Kuala Lumpur said the Touch & Go card was not widely used by Johoreans and people outside the Klang Valley (Selangor and Kuala Lumpur) as there were not as many tolled highways in their states.
A motorist who wanted to be known only as Thoh, 60, said the cashless system should have been introduced gradually to help people adapt.
“I agree that the system is good and will help ease traffic congestion, but it should have been introduced in stages so that people without the card could still pay by cash.
The stall operator from Gelang Patah said there should be at least one booth for cash transactions.
Singaporean Rohaidi Khamis, 30, said the system was tedious for people who rarely used the Second Link.
“There should have been proper notification as many were caught unaware,” she said.
The Touch & Go cards should be sold in Singapore as well for Singaporeans before they arrived at the bridge, she added.
State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Hoo Seong Chang said he would hold discussions with tour agencies and a Plus Expressways Bhd representative to find a solution to the issue.
Those who wish to give feedback can call MHA at 03-8737 3000.
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