Motorists may have to pay five times more in toll charges along EDL

(The Star) – JOHOR BARU: Motorists using the Johor Causeway between Malaysia and Singapore may be forced to pay five times more in toll charges once it is implemented along the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL).

They will be forced to pay the toll even if they do not use the 8.1km EDL as the collection will be done inside the Customs, Quarantine and Im­­migration Complex (CIQ).

Presently, motorists using the Johor Causeway are only required to pay RM2.90 for cars during their return trip at the CIQ building.

Much-debated route: The 8.1km Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) is expected to be opened in the coming weeks.

The RM1.27bil EDL, which will help reduce congestion in the city area along Jalan Tebrau and Jalan Tun Razak, is linked directly to the North South Expressway.

It is expected to be opened in the coming weeks.

Sources said the toll collection proposed by the concessionaire, MRCB Bhd, was RM6.20 for cars one way.

“Besides the RM6.20 EDL toll, drivers will have to pay RM1.45 to PLUS Bhd. This means the total toll is RM7.65 one way, which works out to RM15.30 to leave and return to Malaysia,” they said.

The toll, to be cashless with the use of Touch’N Go, will affect about 70,000 to 100,000 local and Si­­ngaporean commuters each day. There is no toll for motorcyclists.

The EDL toll proposed for taxis is RM3.10, buses (RM5.00), light trucks (RM9.30) and heavy vehicles, including trailers, at RM12.40.

Describing the collection process as absurd, Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad said it would be unfair to those who did not use the EDL to travel to and from Singapore.

“How can you force everyone using the Johor Baru CIQ to pay the toll? I am not sure of the rate when it starts charging at the CIQ and this will cause a lot of unhappiness,” he said, adding that he hoped the Cabinet would carefully review the long-term implications.

Echoing Shahrir’s concerns, Stulang assemblyman Mok Chek Hou said he had already raised the issue twice in the Johor state assembly and at other events.

“This goes against the principle of toll collection of paying for what you use. Why must people travelling from the city into Singapore pay for the toll too?” he said.

Mok also expressed worry that although the project could help reduce traffic jams along major roads, poor implementation would mar the Government’s image.