The works ministry has reiterated it will introduce a multi-lane free flow (MLFF) toll system in Malaysia by 2025 to reduce congestion at toll plazas. The barrier-free tolling system utilises a gantry structure without designated booths or lanes, with toll payments collected via radio-frequency identification (RFID) that works together with an automated number plate recognition (ANPR) system.

In a report by NST, senior works minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the proposal had been approved by the Cabinet. He added that with the MLFF system, vehicles would no longer need to queue or stop to pay for toll, as is the case now with current payment methods (Touch ‘n Go card, SmartTAG and RFID).

“The next step is to negotiate with all the toll concession companies on how it will be implemented so as to provide convenience to highway users. After that, we will look into how to integrate the MLFF system where we will establish a command centre managed by the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) that needs to be integrated with all municipalities or cities,” said Fadillah.

The MLFF system is one of the initiatives under the works ministry’s Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Master Plan 2019-2023, which was developed to improve the safety of road users and drive the development of IPS applications in the country.

The idea of implementing a MLFF system in Malaysia is nothing new and has been brought up several times in the past. In 2009, the government said the system was being trialled and that a proposal would be readied by the end of the year. Later in 2015, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) began proof of concept of a MLFF system at a site owned by Technology Park Malaysia.

More recently in September last year, Green Packet announced that it would run its MLFF proof of concept on the Besraya Highway from early 2022. A few years before that, the Malaysian Association of Highway Concession Companies (MAHCC) said in 2019 that all highways across the country transition to a MLFF system in the next three years when RFID toll collection is implemented at all toll plazas nationwide.

The use of RFID for a MLFF system is deemed to be more efficient, Fadillah said in a report from March this year. “The infrared technology used for SmartTag devices has not been proven in the implementation of the MLFF system, compared to the RFID technology which has been widely adopted by developed countries that have implemented the toll collection system,” he said at the time.

“The implementation of the RFID technology is in line with the government’s aim to introduce the MLFF toll collection system using the RFID technology and it is expected to be fully implemented by 2025,” he added in a reply to a question by Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh in the Dewan Rakyat.