Road users face a 2.4km daily traffic jam at the BESRAYA highway but the government could actually take action against the toll concessionaire to deal with the issue
This was revealed by Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming who questioned "why should BESRAYA toll users pay to get stuck in traffic jams".
In a statement yesterday, 21 November, he said that motorists are left frustrated every weekday evening as they have to deal with the long traffic jam that usually starts from the BESRAYA Sungai Besi toll all the way to the Mines Shopping Mall.
Ong stated that traffic situation has not improved despite the implementation of a contra-traffic flow which opens one additional lane after the BESRAYA toll heading towards Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The DAP lawmaker said that the government, specifically the Works Ministry, shows "no political will" for failing to take on the toll concessionaires
"This BN government has no problems paying millions of RM to these toll concessionaires in compensation for not raising toll rates," he said, adding that BESRAYA has received a total compensation amounting to RM77.6 million from the start of the concession period until 2015.
"Instead of paying out these millions to BESRAYA, the government should ask BESRAYA to solve the traffic jam problem at its Sungai Besi toll and to fine the concessionaire as per the terms and conditions of the concession agreement as long as the traffic problem has not been resolved," Ong said in his statement.
Ong explained that the toll concessionaires are obliged to maintain a certain level of service or action could be taken against them as per the terms and conditions in the concession agreement
He pointed out that the BESRAYA highway is required to achieve a minimum of grade C in its level of service, and if it has fallen beyond the grade, then the toll rates must be reduced by at least 10% during off-peak hours.
"Level of Service 'C' means a stable or at near free flow of traffic. During peak hours, the Level of Service after the BESRAYA Sungai Besi toll is 'F' which is bumper to bumper traffic.
"According to the concession agreement, if the traffic flow falls below the 'C' LOS, the toll concessionaire must appoint a traffic consultant to do a traffic assessment. If the traffic consultant confirms that the LOS has fallen to below a 'C' level of service, then the concessionaire must apply for flexible tolling."
The move to reduce toll rates during off-peak hours is to encourage motorists to travel during that period of time instead of peak hours
However, if the traffic situation still does not improve, Ong said that the concessionaire must upgrade the toll plaza or the affected interchange at their own cost.
He added that based on the agreement, the company was required to pay the government an amount equivalent to 10% of the estimated costs of the upgrading works every month for the inconvenience caused. This payment is expected to last until the appropriate upgrading work is completed.
"For example, if the upgrading works cost a total of RM10 million, the concessionaire must pay the government RM1 million a month until the upgrading work is completed."
Do you think that the government should take action against the BESRAYA toll concessionaire to resolve the ongoing traffic congestion issue? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.