Come 2030, you may need to pay a fee in order to drive through central Kuala Lumpur, thanks to a new proposal in the Dewan Rakyat today for a congestion charge by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.
A congestion charge is not a new concept, having been implemented in megacities worldwide ranging from London to Singapore. Essentially, it’s a “toll” fee imposed around a certain area of the city in an effort to reduce the amount of cars on the roads, while at the same time improving air quality in the immediate vicinity and encouraging the use of public transport.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, Datuk Seri Wee said that his ministry is mulling on a fee structure for vehicles entering the city once the MRT3 central line is completed in 2030.
“When we have a completed public transport network system, then it is time to look at this particular component. This is the correct trend, not only for entering vehicles, but in terms of environmental protection too,” he said in response to a question from Lembah Pantai MP, Fahmi Fadzil.
Datuk Seri Wee further added that such fees are already being implemented in other major cities around the world, with exemptions only given to electric vehicles.
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The MRT3 line, which has already been approved by the cabinet earlier this month, is expected to be completed by 2030, with the first phase to open to the public as early as December 2028.
According to the Minister, the project will have a total length of 51 km, of which 39 km will be within Kuala Lumpur, with the remaining 12 km in Selangor. The line will form a loop mostly surrounding the perimeter of the city, while also intersecting other existing rail systems including MRT1, MRT2, LRT, Monorail, and KTM to cover even more areas not currently served by the existing railway systems.
In total, the new MRT3 line will form 10 new interchange stations, and will be primarily elevated above the ground, with only 20% of its total length underground.