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Goodbye KL traffic jams in 2017, hello congestion charges?
Published:  Sep 30, 2015 11:00 AM
Updated: 4:44 AM

Traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur might become a thing of the past in 2017. That's because motorist will have to pay up if they want to enter the city centre.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall is planning to impose road pricing or congestion charges for private vehicles two years down the road in the capital's business district, TheSun reported yesterday.

City mayor Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz ( photo ) said this is to encourage the use of public transportation,

"(It may be implemented) after the completion of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT Line 1)," he was quoted as saying by the English daily.

The plan is similar to what is being implemented in several world class cities such as Singapore, London, Milan and Stockholm, where private vehicles pay a hefty fees if they want to enter certain areas during peak hours.

To make the use of public transport more enticing, Deputy Federal Territories Minister Loga Bala Mohan said parking in congestion zones will also be more expensive.

"The government will also impose plans to make it difficult for private vehicles to enter the city.

"This includes higher development costs for developers or building owners to build car parks which will contribute to high parking charges," Loga said.

He added that the number of parking bays will also be reduced to discourage motorists.

Loga ( photo ) said the plan will be introduced in stages to make sure it is actually convenient for people to get around in the city using public transports.

As to how we'll be paying this congestion charges, TheSun quoted a DBKL source as saying that it'll be done through radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that will be integrated into road tax stickers.

Besides offering a cashless payment system, the source said the RFID will also assist with enforcement, and provide exemptions for public transport vehicles and cars driven by disabled people.