Smooth traffic on Causeway as new toll charges kick in on the Singapore side

Mr Iqbal Hadi, 25, driver, paying the tolls.
Mr Iqbal Hadi, 25, driver, paying the tolls.
Mr Jainudin Samuri, 45, personal driver, with a phamplet that he had received from a counter at the checkpoint in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Mr Jainudin Samuri, 45, personal driver, with a phamplet that he had received from a counter at the checkpoint in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Toll charges displayed on the Malaysian side of the border. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Toll charges displayed on the Malaysian side of the border. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
The road leading to the Causeway from Malaysia at 7.30am on Oct 1, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO  
The road leading to the Causeway from Malaysia at 7.30am on Oct 1, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO  
Traffic at the Malaysian customs check before going on the Causeway heading to Singapore at about 7.30am on Oct 1, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO 
Traffic at the Malaysian customs check before going on the Causeway heading to Singapore at about 7.30am on Oct 1, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO 
Midway through the Causeway from Malaysia to Singapore on Oct 1, 2014 at about 8.30am. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Midway through the Causeway from Malaysia to Singapore on Oct 1, 2014 at about 8.30am. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
The peak hour jam on the Causeway towards Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO  -
The peak hour jam on the Causeway towards Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO  -

SINGAPORE - Drivers on the Seletar Expressway were reminded of new toll charges through overhead electronic signs, as the fee hike kicked in on the Singapore side on Oct 1.

Traffic was smooth on the Causeway in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the first day the revised toll charges on the Singapore side come into force.

It appeared to be business as usual when The Straits Times visited the Woodlands Checkpoint at 5.30am, with the new charges kicking in without a hitch.

Pumping petrol at Mesra petrol station was Mr Muhd Shawal, 40, one of those hit by the hike. The Singaporean businessman who lives in Johor was on his way to send his two children to school.

"What to do, I just have to accept it, I cannot say don't send them to school or don't do my business," he said.

Mr Shawal, who imports food and equipment from Johor to Singapore, added: "There is no way to reduce the toll cost so I will just have to try to cut down on my operation costs".

In August, Malaysia raised the toll rates for vehicles entering Johor from Singapore and implemented a new toll for Singapore-bound vehicles.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced it would match these rates shortly after the changes were made.

Since then, business chambers representing companies in Malaysia and Singapore have voiced concerns that the toll hikes will have a negative economic impact.

In September, Malaysian government officials said that they would be meeting with Singapore officials to clarify the reasons behind the revision of charges at the Causeway. According to the LTA, it has been a longstanding policy for Singapore to match the tolls set by Malaysia.

A two-way trip by car via the Causeway will now cost around S$13.10 in combination with tolls levied by Malaysia.