KUALA LUMPUR - An estimated 1.5 million vehicles will be on the North-South Expressway (NSE) daily in the run-up to Chinese New Year, especially on Feb 17 and 18 (eve of Chinese New Year), Feb 21 and Feb 22, said PLUS Malaysia Bhd.
In view of this, the concessionaire of NSE and a few other expressways are appealing to the public to stagger their travel time by referring to its Travel Time Advisory (TTA) so that traffic flow will be as smooth as possible.
Besides its TTA, PLUS is also pushing for cashless transactions for toll payments by throwing in discounts for those using the NSE, the Expressway Lingkaran Tengah (Elite) and North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), with discounts starting at 20 per cent for drivers of Class 1 (mostly cars) vehicles travelling over 100km who pay using Touch'n'Go, SmartTag or Plus Miles.
The catch is that the vehicles must adhere to the entry and exit times prescribed under the TTA.
There is even more good news for those opting to travel more than 100km on Feb 16 and 23, as the discount goes up to 30 per cent.
"This is to encourage more to travel on off-peak dates," said PLUS managing director Datuk Noorizah Abdul Hamid to the media yesterday.
Other steps to speed up flow will be the opening of a fourth lane at critical stretches between Shah Alam-Jalan Duta-Sungai Buloh overhead restaurant, and from Nilai Utara to Seremban, as well as deploying 3,000 personnel at all plazas and opening up a further 1,200 toll counters.
PlusRonda teams will also be increased, while additional parking areas will be created at 21 key rest stops, including putting in portable toilets at 20 locations.
Prolintas, the concessionaire for the Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway, Guthrie Corridor Expressway and Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway will also be offering a 20 per cent discount, reported Bernama.
The group's chief executive officer, Zainuddin A. Kadir, said the discount was offered to all Class 1 vehicles using cashless payment from 5am on Feb 19 to 6am on Feb 20.
The Road Transport Department has barred heavy vehicles from using the expressways on the four days mentioned.
Meanwhile, Petronas Dagangan Bhd is offering snacks and coffee as selected stations along expressways and major roads on Feb 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 39 participating Petronas stations.
Petronas Dagangan managing director and CEO Mohd Ibrahimnuddin Mohd Yunus said the Petronas Coffee Break Campaign was part of the brand's commitment towards safety by encouraging drivers to "refresh and recharge".
The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (Miros) has also warned travellers to exercise care during the festive period.
"Anticipate a difference in traffic volume, and don't hesitate to take a break if you need to," urged Miros director-general Prof Wong Shaw Voon.