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As earlier reported, all-electronic toll collection (ETC) is set to begin at PLUS Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau toll plazas (on Federal Highway Route 2) from September 1 at 6.00 am. Only SmartTAG, PLUSMiles card and Touch ‘n Go card transactions will be accepted – no cash.

At a media briefing held recently, PLUS MD Datuk Noorizah Abdul Hamid explained that should motorists require printed receipts (for claims purposes), they will be provided on the spot at the two leftmost booths at both toll plazas, in both directions. Transaction statements may also be printed out through e-Penyata.

PLUS has opened up drive-through counters at the two toll plazas. Open 24 hours beginning September 1, motorists may purchase and reload PLUSMiles and Touch ‘n Go cards at these counters, without getting out of their cars.

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Also, Customer Service Centres (Pusat Khidmat Pelanggan) at the two locations will be open daily between 7 am and 10 pm.

As incentives to migrate to cards, PLUS is offering RM5 preloaded PLUSMiles cards at a promotional rate of RM5 (so essentially the card itself is free) until November 30. Also, SmartTAGs will be offered at a promotional price of RM99 (provided you top-up RM30) until September 30.

That’s not all – a 30% toll rebate will be offered to Class 1 users who pay electronically during off-peak hours (10 am-4 pm, 10pm-6 am) at both toll plazas between September 1 and December 31.

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The rationale behind the move to all-ETC is quite clear – the objective is to reduce toll plaza congestion by quickening the process of paying toll, thereby bypassing land constraints where toll plaza widening is concerned. It will also, of course, save a bit of fuel for motorists in the long run, since you don’t have to slow down, stop, and move off again.

The long-term aim is to increase the number of electronic transactions from 44 per capita in 2010 to 200 by 2020. The switch to electronic transaction will also, PLUS says, save 1% on the country’s gross domestic product.

Additionally, for 2020, PLUS is targeting 100% ETC at all its toll plazas nationwide, with a possible gateless gantry toll collection system (like Singapore’s overhead Electronic Road Pricing gantries) where cars may simply drive through and be charged electronically, without the need for slowing down.

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Why Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau? Well, apart from being heavily congested, over 70% of transactions at the two toll plazas already are through SmartTAG, PLUSMiles or Touch ‘n Go cards, says PLUS.

All-ETC systems are already in place at Perling on the Secondlink Highway (January 2014), Kempas on the NSE (January 2014), Lima Kedai on Linkedua (July 2010), Tanjung Kupang on Linkedua (September 2009) and the Sultan Iskandar Building, CIQ (December 2008).