The government may introduce on-peak and off-peak toll rates for the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) to ease congestion, according to Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed. Ironically, most of the traffic jams on the LDP are caused by the toll plaza itself, and made worse by Smart Tag systems that never work as they should.

Datuk Mohd Zin says that the lower off-peak toll rates may encourage motorists to travel during off-peak periods, spreading out the traffic load of the highway across more time periods. You could either wake up earlier and save on the toll charges on the way to work, or leave the office later to save on the toll charges on the way home, or you could wake up earlier and leave the office later and save on toll charges on both ways.

Another solution would be to “realign the highway”, which would involve expensive land acquisitions and construction costs.

The Works Minister also revealed that the government has paid a total of over 630 million ringgit so far since the year 1999 in toll subsidies for the LDP, despite it being such a traffic nightmare. I am pretty sure the prices of land and houses in Puchong and nearby areas are affected by the LDP as well.

I have heard of someone whose apartment in Puchong’s value depreciated, while others have had their property appreciate only a small amount or remain stagnant in value.

This is another example of the government asking the rakyat to “ubah gaya hidup” (change our lifestyles) when it does not know how to get around problems that the rakyat faces. Rather than a real solution to the LDP woes, we are encouraged to go to work and go home at awkward hours.