PLUS is also to be enacting SmartLane to reduce congestion for those travelling during this CNY period.
While the government is not usually one to give ang pows, those who are travelling back home (or anywhere for that matter) during this upcoming CNY will nevertheless be able to save a bit of cash on their journeys, Such is because the works ministry has recently announced that it will be offering toll exemptions on the 8th (Thursday) and 9th of February (Friday) in conjunction with Chinese New Year, which falls on the 10th of February this year.
Offered to Class 1 vehicles — which are private vehicles — the toll fare exemption will apply to all toll plazas in the country, with the exception of those those at national borders, namely Tol Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) and Tanjung Kupang toll plazas in Johor. This festive toll exemption will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. on Thursday until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, according to the statement from the works ministry.
“This initiative is in line with the unity government’s aspirations to preserve the welfare of the rakyat and help reduce the cost of living for them,” stated works minister Alexander Nanta Linggi regarding this toll exemption. The ministry has further noted that this initiative will cost the government an estimated RM 42.99 million.
Interestingly, the government has decided not to provide any toll exemptions for those travelling back after the Chinese New Year public holiday periods. Those travelling on the North South Expressway (PLUS) during that time will nevertheless likely experience less congestion, as said backbone thoroughfare will see the activation of its SmartLane programme (essentially an exercise that turns the left-most emergency lane into a traffic lane) at various locations from the 8th to the 18th of February.
An estimated 2.4 million cars are expected to be on the roads this Chinese New Year period. Motorists have been advised by authorities to plan ahead with their travels and at least attempt to follow the travel time advisories (TTAs) released by the respective highway concessionaires for a smoother journey, not to mention too be sufficiently rested and to have enough credit balance in one’s Touch ‘n Go cards and/or eWallets. Gong Xi Fa Cai!