The Works Ministry is targeting to increase RFID adoption for highway toll payments to 60% by the end of 2022 and to phase out Touch ‘n Go (TnG) and SmartTAG usage by the end of 2023.
This was revealed by Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup as he responds to a question raised by Senator Tuan Aknan A/L Ehtook in Dewan Negara yesterday (20 December), asking for a clearer transition plan as the public was concerned about the abolishment of TnG and SmartTAG payment methods next year.
“We understand the concerns voiced by highway users and would like to clarify that for now, Touch‘ n Go and SmartTAG card lanes remain operational on all highways and they will only be phased out, taking into account RFID usage rates and RFID lane availability,” Arthur said.
Last week, the Ministry has announced that RFID will be adopted by all highways on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia starting 15 January 2022.
Arthur explains that the cost of RFID is much lower compared to TnG and SmartTAG, apart from not having maintenance costs such as replacing the battery as needed for SmartTAG, besides ease of topping up online (for RFID).
“At the RFID lane, we can clear 1,000 vehicles per hour, but Touch‘ n Go only 550 vehicles per hour, meaning this technology (RFID) can indeed help reduce congestion at toll plazas.” he added.
He also said the government is currently giving an RM10 discount for the RFID tag bought through the TnG eWallet app. However, the delivery fees of RM4 still applies.
Meanwhile, the government is exploring new ways to increase RFID usage which may include incentivising new car buyers to install the RFID tag on their new vehicles.
Malaysia also aims to implement the Multi-Lane-Free-Flow (MLFF) with RFID by 2026. On PLUS highway, each toll plaza will have at least one RFID lane and existing lanes will be converted to RFID in phases depending on the RFID adoption rate.
PLUS has stopped selling SmartTAG readers since 2018, but there are third-party devices and some car manufacturers even offered cars with built-in SmartTAG readers.
On the other hand, Touch ‘n Go had plans to introduce a new physical TNG card that can be reloaded directly via an eWallet by the end of this year too. However, there were still no news about it yet.