Motorists will soon have to pay higher toll rates on the Singapore side of the Causeway, after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday that it will match Malaysia's new levies in the next few weeks.
With the adjustment, drivers of private cars will likely have to pay about $12.80 for a round trip to Malaysia, compared to $2.30 before the changes at the Malaysia checkpoint set in yesterday.
The Malaysian authorities raised the toll rates yesterday for vehicles entering Johor from Singapore, and introduced a new toll for those driving in the other direction. Cars pay a toll of RM9.70 (S$3.80), up from the previous RM2.90. Those travelling from Johor to Singapore previously paid no toll, but are now subject to a new charge of RM6.80.
While motorcycles continue to be exempted, drivers of buses, goods vehicles and taxis now also have to pay more at the Malaysia checkpoint.
Singapore "has a longstanding policy of matching our toll charges at the Causeway and Second Link to those set by Malaysia", a policy the latter is aware of, said an LTA spokesman. "As details of Malaysia's toll revisions were not made known to Singapore earlier, LTA would need some time to operationalise the changes," he added. "Should Malaysia reduce or do away with the toll charges, Singapore will follow suit."
Malaysia's move prompted some bus drivers ferrying factory workers from Johor to Singapore to protest yesterday morning, stopping their vehicles before the Johor checkpoint and refusing to pay. They blocked the bus lane at 5am and caused a massive jam, forcing the temporary suspension of four public bus services till 10am, after the congestion had eased. Affected workers and students coming into Singapore had to cross the Causeway on foot.
Both the Malaysian authorities and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) said they will be monitoring the situation. ICA has also deployed more officers to ensure travellers are cleared smoothly without compromising security.