PLUS Malaysia Bhd (PLUS) has several approaches to deal with traffic congestion for motorists to have a smoother journey this Chinese New Year.
Based on previous travel patterns observed during festive seasons, PLUS experts expect traffic on the highway to reach its peak on Feb 14, 15, 18, 19 as well as Feb 24 and Feb 25.
PLUS expects 1.6 million vehicles on the road on these peak days, contributing to an increase of 10.3% compared to normal traffic flow.
“As people balik kampung, an increase of up to 145% in vehicle flow at stretches between Rawang and Simpang Pulai can be anticipated.
“In the journey to Klang Valley, heavy traffic congestion is expected at Alor Setar-Sungai Dua, Jawi-Kuala Kangsar, Simpang Pulai-Slim River, Sungkai-Bukit Beruntung, Bukit Beruntung-Rawang, Seremban-Nilai, Ayer Keroh-Senawang and Yong Peng-Tangkak as well as Ayer Hitam-Pagoh stretches as city dwellers return from festive holiday.
“We aim to distribute traffic during the holidays and the proposed strategy includes offering toll rebate on non-peak days and issuing the travel time advisory (TTA) schedule,” said PLUS managing director Datuk Azman Ismail at a press conference with PLUS chief operating officer Zakaria Ahmad Zabidi.
He said a 20% toll rebate would be offered to Class 1 vehicle users with registered Touch ‘n Go cards and PLUSMiles travelling more than 100km during the non-peak days on Feb 12 to 13 and Feb 20 to Feb 21.
On the selected dates, users are required to pay normal toll rates as the rebate will be reloaded into their electronic cards when they top up at PLUS customer service centres from March 15 to June 14.
PLUS also issued a TTA for highway travel from Feb 9 to 25.
This is aimed at assisting drivers to plan their journey by preventing vehicles from converging on the highway at the same time.
The TTA advises those travelling from Klang Valley to far off destinations such as Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Johor and north Perak to get on the highway before 10am.
Motorists with destinations such as Negri Sembilan, Selangor, central and southern Perak and Melaka are advised to enter the highway after 10am.
“The TTA is designed to relieve traffic heading towards further destinations from converging with those going to nearer ones,” he said.
PLUS will also strengthen highway operations by collaborating with various emergency agencies.
PLUSRonda teams will be increased up to 218 teams from its current 188 to ensure work to remove obstacles and stranded vehicles along the highway is smooth during the festive season,
Contra flow will be activated at some critical locations to ensure smooth traffic flow upon clearance from the police.
Azman said there were more than 5,000 personnel on standby to assist motorists.
From Feb 14 to 25, all toll plaza reload lanes will be temporarily shut down.
“During peak hours, lengthy top-up process at reload lanes often cause congestion so closing these lanes helps ease traffic congestion.
“A total of 32 self-service kiosks (SSK) at selected rest areas and toll plazas along the highway are available for motorists to top up their electronic cards,” he said.
Top-up could also be done at customer service centres at selected toll plazas, from 7am and 10am.
Reload centres such as petrol stations, malls and convenience stores at 9,200 locations nationwide are also available.
“We advise all drivers to enter the highway with their electronic cards reloaded,” he said, adding that there would be aerial traffic surveillance from Feb 14 to 19.
For the latest traffic updates, visit PLUS mobile apps, PLUSTrafik Twitter, PLUSLine and major radio stations.