There will be no increase in PLUS toll rates this year, but these will be up for review in 2016, with a 5% hike to be expected, The Star reports. The final increase in the toll rate will be subject to government approval.

A source told the publication that there would be no revisions to the highway concessionaire’s toll rates this year. “For sure, there will be no toll rate hike this year as stated in the concession agreement when PLUS Expressways Bhd (PEB) was privatised at the end of 2011. And the toll for Penang Bridge will remain the same,” the source was quoted as saying.

The privatisation brought about a revised concession agreement, where PLUS agreed to waive RM6.2bil of compensation claims due from the government then. It also allowed for scheduled toll hikes of 5% every three years from 2016, a reduction from the 10% in the previous agreement.

toll booth

Speculation of an increase in toll rates first surfaced in May. There has been no increase in the rates for the last 10 years, and highway concessionaires have stated that a hike is necessary. The Malaysian Association of Highway Concession Companies (PSKLM) said the move would give concessionaires a better ability to absorb maintenance, overheads and financing costs.

In November last year, a report indicated that the government was expected to pay RM558.69 million in compensation to highway concessionaires this year as a result of the decision not to raise toll rates at 20 highways. Deputy Works Minister Datuk Seri Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin was reported to have stated that 17 expressway operators will receive compensation this year – the Works Ministry has approved the payment of RM458 million so far.

Meanwhile, a hike in light rail transit (LRT) and monorail fares – which have not been increased in 12 years – has also been speculated, but the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said that it had no intention to increase the LRT and Putra monorail line fares. The commission has said the current fare will be maintained until it makes a final decision on the matter.