The Works Ministry aims to increase RFID adoption for highway toll payments to 60% by the end of 2022 and it targets to phase out Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG usage by the end of 2023. The final decision is dependent on RFID usage by highway users.
This was revealed by Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup while responding to a question raised by Senator Tuan Aknan A/L Ehtook in Dewan Negara this morning. The Senator asked for a clearer transition plan as the public was concerned about the abolishment of Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG next year, following the announcement of RFID being adopted by all highways on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia starting 15 January 2022.
The Deputy Minister clarified although RFID is being adopted, the existing Touch ‘n Go card and SmartTAG system will still remain as part of the early transition phase to RFID. He added that RFID is merely an extra payment option at the moment, and the highway operators will still offer Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG lanes.
Arthur told Dewan Negara that RFID is more affordable than Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG as there’s no need to replace the battery and it is easier to top up via eWallet. He also said RFID is also much faster to process with 1,000 vehicles passing through per hour versus 550 vehicles per hour with Touch ‘n Go card. He added that RFID can help reduce congestion at toll plazas.
The Deputy Minister also said that the government is currently giving an RM10 discount for the RFID Tag (RRP: RM35) when users buy the RFID self-fitment kit from the eWallet app. However, take note that an RM4 delivery fee still applies.
The government is exploring new ways to increase RFID usage which may include incentivising new car buyers to install the RFID tag on their new vehicles.
Malaysia currently aims to implement Multi-Lane-Free-Flow (MLFF) with RFID by 2026. On PLUS highway, each toll plaza will have at least one RFID lane and existing lanes will be converted to RFID in phases depending on the RFID adoption rate.
PLUS has stopped selling SmartTAG readers since 2018 but there are third-party devices and built-in SmartTAG readers being offered by some car manufacturers. Interestingly, Touch ‘n Go had also planned to introduce a new physical TNG card that can be reloaded directly via an eWallet. The new card was supposed to be introduced by the end of this year but there’s no news about it yet.
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