Highway concessionaire PLUS Malaysia has apologised to all its highway customers for the inconvenience caused as a result of the congestion during its initial RFID rollout along the North-South Expressway from Juru to Skudai on January 15.
Acknowledging the inconvenience caused to its highway customers during the initial RFID implementation along its Juru to Skudai stretch, PLUS said via a statement that it is reactivating 43 SmartTAG lanes at 34 toll plazas to address the issue and manage traffic at the toll plazas.
It said that 16 toll plazas with 19 Touch ‘n Go lanes will have SmartTAG lanes reinstated by January 25 in anticipation of increased traffic during the expected travel exodus for Chinese New Year. Subsequently, post CNY, on February 19, 18 more toll plazas will convert 24 lanes to SmartTAG lanes.
The move comes following a recent meeting between PLUS’ senior management and works minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and the director-general of the Malaysia Highway Authority (LLM), Datuk Mohd Shuhaimi Hassan, where the works minister raised his concern on the public’s unhappiness in relation to the RFID implementation and the removal of the SmartTag lanes at certain toll plazas.
PLUS said that with steering and guidance from the works minister, it has identified areas of improvement and is taking proactive steps that are fully aligned with prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement that the RFID solution should be an option for the rakyat in terms of how they choose to make toll payments. “Users must be given the freedom whether to use RFID, Touch n Go or SmartTAG,” he said.
It said it teams have been formed to work around the clock on the ground to optimise system performance and sharpen detection at all toll plazas, and that it will deploy quicker “double arm” lane barriers at plazas with high traffic to ensure traffic will be able to be managed and cleared quickly. Additionally, visual RFID detection zones will be painted on RFID lanes to ensure customers are able to position their vehicle to ensure optimum detection.
The highway operator also said it has assigned customer service assistants (CSAs) at all 158 RFID lanes across 74 toll plazas to assist customers who are stuck at lanes. Using portable detection devices, the CSAs will help determine if there is a fault with a RFID tag. Motorists experiencing RFID detection issues will receive a TnG coupon for assessment of the tag at the nearest TnG fitment center – if found to be faulty, TnG will replace the tag for free.
For the convenience of motorists, PLUS said there are 24 fitment centres on its highways and 35 at locations outside PLUS highways, with the full locations listed here. It added that it will continue to work with TnG to increase the number of RFID fitment centers to ensure that proper tag fitting by a professional fitment agent is available to customers.
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