PKR deputy information chief Sim Tze Tzin today called Putrajaya's impending move away from highway toll charges to congestion pricing a "no-brainer."
Sim, a former civil engineer, said that such a policy strategy has been proven to control or reduce highway congestion during peak hours in other countries.
As he explained, congestion charges will result in highway users changing their habits to save money, while helping to free up rush hour traffic.
"Congestion pricing has been implemented in many parts of the world and has shown significant results, such as in Singapore, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
"Therefore, it is a no-brainer to be implemented in a highly congested city such as Kuala Lumpur," he said.
Sim, who has a graduate degree in highway engineering from San José State University, said he found it strange that former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and MCA president Wee Ka Siong were opposed to the move.
"Najib studied economics. Wee studied civil engineering. Congestion pricing is a policy that applies economics to transportation planning.
"They should know the benefits of such creative policies. Maybe I can give them a briefing about the benefits of congestion pricing," his statement read.
Najib and Wee had panned efforts by the government to do away with fixed highway toll charges in favour of congestion pricing.
At present, the proposal is to test the new system on four highways – the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), Western KL Traffic Dispersal System (Sprint Expressway), Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) and the Smart Tunnel – with three pricing tiers.
The first is a full charge for peak hours, a 30 percent discount for off-peak hours, and no charges between 11pm and 5am.