Besides the news of the removal of the 50% excise duty of hybrid vehicles in Paul’s earlier story, there were some other items related to motoring and transport in Budget 2011.

Effective January 1 next year, the service tax on all taxable services will go up from 5% to 6%, which of course means that it’ll add to the cost of servicing and repairing your vehicle, among everything else that you can be expected to pay a service tax for.

Better news for frequent users of the four highways run by PLUS Expressways Berhad – as a means of alleviating your burden, the toll won’t be raised for the next five years.

As part of its plan to reduce the intensity of carbon emissions, the Government will also begin the implementation of its B5 programme – the blending of biofuel in diesel – on a mandatory basis in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilian and Melaka starting from June 2011.

Elsewhere, some good news for the physically disabled who are able to drive – the current exemption of excise duty by 50% on the purchase of a national vehicle is now 100%, with all existing conditions for such a purchase remaining unchanged. The revised exemption, effective from October 18, is also extended to those with hearing and speaking disabilities.

In terms of public transport, work on the Mass Rapid Transit rail system in the Klang Valley is slated to begin in 2011. The project, which is estimated to cost RM40 billion, is aimed at providing an efficient transport system that will reduce travelling time and offer better connectivity in the Klang Valley.

The project will be integrated to other modes of transportation, including buses and taxis (it’ll be interesting to see how this one works – a definite overhaul is needed, for sure), and is expected to be completed by 2020. Upon its completion, the Government expects that the utilisation rate of public transport to increase by at least 40%.

Meanwhile, rural roads get that much needed improvement – Sabah and Sarawak is to get an allocation of RM2.1 billion for the building and upgrading of rural roads, while RM696 million will be set aside for those in the Peninsular.