Channel NewsAsia

Pending entry fee for Singapore vehicles entering JB might reduce jam, some hope

Some commuters say they will reduce the frequency of their trips to Malaysia once the fee is imposed, but bus operators believe the fee hike will be "manageable". 

SINGAPORE: Some Singaporeans who regularly visit Johor Baru say they will reduce the frequency of their trips, following the Malaysian government's call on Wednesday (July 16) to impose a Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee on foreign vehicles entering the city. At least two drivers told Channel NewsAsia they would trim their number of trips to once a month. "Normally, people go over because they want a better shopping experience. But now, maybe, it will be less frequent," said one.

Others, however, welcomed the move, hoping it would ease the Causeway congestion. "The traffic is very bad nowadays. They should increase the price," said another driver.

How much the charges are and when the new rule will kick in will be announced soon. Bus companies said the new measure will not affect the long-haul buses plying between Singapore and Malaysia, but urged both the Singapore and Malaysian governments to do something about the traffic jam.

"The hike of the fee to us is manageable. However, we strongly feel that governments from both sides have to do something about the congestion on the Causeway and Second Link,” said Mr Sebastian Yap, spokesperson for the Express & Excursion Bus Association. “Usually we take about five hours to reach Kuala Lumpur. The jam might cost us another hour. This is totally unproductive."

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