Driving around the Mid Valley area can be exhausting, and it is more of a nightmare after office hours. So, you can imagine the excitement when I first heard that Touch ‘n Go card holders can now enter and exit the car park without any charges within a 15 minute grace period.
But even with this great bit of news, Mid Valley snuck in a catch that can constitute a potentially bigger problem. Touch ‘n Go users would still need to “validate their cards” at the Auto Pay Station.
“Simply validate your card at the auto pay station located at P1 North & South Travelator Lobbies before exiting,” wrote Mid Valley on their Facebook page.
At first I was a little confused—was this a mistake that they posted? Why would Touch ‘n Go users need to validate their 15 minutes of being in the car park if the whole point of Touch ‘n Go was to “touch and go”?
Many mall car parks in Malaysia offer free entrance and exits within 15 minutes to half an hour—even if you use your Touch ‘n Go card. It was also reported that over 93% of Touch ‘n Go’s surcharge have been removed now.
I asked Mid Valley clarify what they meant over Facebook messenger, and they replied saying that “validation is required in our carpark for security and prevent bypass traffic”.
They also mentioned how to validate the Touch ‘n Go card at the auto pay station. Additionally, the auto pay stations that users can use are only located at P1 at the North and South Travelator lobbies.
“There is a reader on the left side of the (auto pay station). You need to tap your card on the reader,” they continued.
And while I understand that a lot of people use the Mid Valley car parks as shortcuts to cut through the jam in Mid Valley City, I would imagine that it would create an even bigger jam if there are people who would want to find parking to validate their free 15 minutes at an auto pay station.
Most of the comments under the Facebook post are also complaints about the announcement. A user wrote that walking to the station for validation would probably already take them 15 minutes. Another user said that the mall should just make it automatic and there is “no need to validate”.
Still, this new update is a little better than paying actual parking fees getting in and out of the mall within 15 minutes. However, I might start weighing pros and cons of paying the fee if there is actual traffic just trying to find parking to validate my Touch ‘n Go card at the auto pay station.