RFID can help reduce congestion, modernise payments at toll plazas, says Fomca deputy chief

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KUALA LUMPUR: Plans to implement Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) know-how for toll payments on the principle stretch of the North-South Expressway from Juru in Penang and Skudai in Johor from Jan 15 have drawn blended views from numerous quarters.

For Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, the implementation is in keeping with the federal government’s intention to modernise toll payments and reduce congestion at toll plazas.

“We can look at Singapore, which doesn’t have tolls, travelling is quicker there as a result of there isn’t a want for motorists to cease and scan or contact the cardboard like what we’re doing now,” he stated.

According to freeway concessionaire PLUS Malaysia Bhd, toll payments by way of RFID have been first launched in 2018 at chosen expressways as an preliminary step to the implementation of toll transactions with out the presence of toll plazas via the multi-lane free stream system or MLFF.

However, Yusof stated the present 20 RFID routes at 9 PLUS toll plazas nonetheless had gantries and this compelled freeway customers to decelerate.

He stated the value-added facility supplied by RFID, which could possibly be made on-line, ought to have been well-received by the general public.

“RFID gives a neater possibility as a result of top-ups can be made utilizing smartphones both by way of a debit or bank card, or on-line banking. It additionally has a direct top-up function utilizing an e-Wallet,” he added.

He welcomed the transfer to implement the RFID in phases as not all freeway customers at the moment had entry to RFID tags as a result of lack of know-how on the system.

“The possibility given to motorists to make use of Touch‘ n Go and Smart Tag for a certain period of time is appropriate until everyone has access to RFID. Then, PLUS can gradually eliminate the existing payment methods and switch to RFID completely,” he said, suggesting more promotions to be made by PLUS on RFID for the benefit of consumers.

On the negative reaction from some internet users over the government’s transfer, Yusof stated the same state of affairs occurred throughout the transition from money payments to Touch‘n Go at toll plazas.

“It didn’t take lengthy for the general public to simply accept the change (from money payments to Touch‘n Go). It reveals our persons are ready to simply accept modifications.

“As an increasing number of folks use the power, the response will likely be extra constructive. Many folks don’t agree now as a result of not many individuals use it,” he added.

However, Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) activist chief Datuk Nadzim Johan questioned whether or not there was an pressing want for RFID to be carried out with the vast majority of the folks at the moment going via a troublesome section of life as a result of Covid-19.

He stated though PLUS had clarified that Touch‘n Go and Smart Tag may nonetheless be used, it was nonetheless “unhealthy information” for some folks.

“Even although it’s simply an announcement and the present fee strategies are nonetheless working, it’s making some folks to develop into extra pressured,” he advised Bernama.

He additionally identified that these in rural areas could have issues putting in RFID on their autos, in addition to technical points, such because the switch of present balances in Touch‘n Go and Smart Tags to RFID.

“There have to be a assure that there will likely be no further prices on the customers,” he stated, hoping that PLUS would offer extra data on the implementation of RFID.

According to the RFID web site, there are at the moment 1,269,957 customers nationwide.

Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup advised the Dewan Negara lately that the ministry was concentrating on 60% utilization of RFID know-how for toll payments by the tip of 2022 and that the usage of Touch’n Go and Smart Tag could also be stopped by the tip of 2023. – Bernama



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