Announced by finance minister Lim Guan Eng at the tabling of Budget 2020 last October, the toll rate at the second Penang Bridge (Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah) been reduced to RM7 effective January 1, Bernama reported. This will effectively match the RM7 toll rate at the first Penang Bridge.
“According to our statistics, in 2014, 3.4 million vehicles used JSAHMS, followed by 4.8 million vehicles in 2016 (6.1 million), 2017 (8.1 million), 2018 (9.8 million) and as of November this year, 9.5 million. We expect more vehicles to use the bridge next year (2020),” said board member of the second Penang Bridge concessionaire, Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) Datuk Seri Farizan Darus.
The second Penang Bridge has carried the passage of 32.6 million vehicles since its opening in 2014, recording an average annual increase of about 32%, Farizan said, adding that island-bound road users especially from the south will switch to the second Penang Bridge as it has never experienced any congestion since its opening.
A report from August 2018 stated that JKSB has been urged to consider offering toll discounts to attract more users as the Auditor General’s Report 2017 Series 1 on the Management of Government Companies and Federal Government Agencies found that despite satisfactory toll collection, the second Penang Bridge concessionaire’s overall financial position was still unstable.
An abolishment of all toll collection at both Penang bridges were promised by the Pakatan Harapan coalition ahead of the 14th General Election, and stated in its manifesto that it would remove toll collection in stages. The opposition-turned-government stated later, however that the abolition would cost RM400 billion.