PLUS aims for RFID toll payment for lorries, buses

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KUALA LUMPUR: PLUS Malaysia Bhd, the operator of the North-South Expressway (NSE), plans to expand the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) for toll payment to heavy vehicles which cover lorries and buses.


PLUS said 2022 would continue to be a year of data collection via artificial intelligent (AI) machine learning, system enhancement and fine tuning to make the journey experience even smoother.

In parallel with this embellishment process, PLUS said it looked forward to seeing the introduction of RFID for heavy vehicles covering lorries and buses as well.

“We will continue to gather data and make further refinements and explore potential integration with new emerging technologies from 2023 and beyond, with a keen eye on delivering convenience to our highway customers,” PLUS said in an email interview with the New Straits Times.

PLUS’ RFID toll payment pilot project at intra-city highways began in August 2017 covering Duke, Grand Saga, Maju Expresseway (MEX), Kesas, Besraya, New Pantai Expressway (NPE) and many more.

In July 2020, PLUS embarked on an RFID public pilot at nine toll closed system toll plazas between Hutan Kampung and Sungai Dua in the north which successfully went live on October 31 last year, 16 months later.

Subsequently, from January 15 this year, PLUS rolled out an extended RFID public pilot, NSE-wide from Juru to Skudai, covering a stretch of 650 kilometres.

There are currently 30 highways nationwide operated by 14 highway concessionaires.

PLUS operates six of these highways namely the NSE (including the NKVE and Seremban-Port Dickson highway), EliteLITE, the Second Link, the Butterworth Kulim Expressway, the Penang Bridge and Lebuhraya Pantai Timur 2.

Initially, four highway concessionaires embarked on an RFID pilot project in 2017. By December 2017, 49 open system toll plazas at 18 highways nationwide participated in the pilot project.


PLUS said the introduction of the RFID technology was in line with the government’s intention to move to a Multi Lane Free Flow (MLFF) toll collection system.

With this in mind, PLUS said RFID was still a public pilot and was aimed at resolving issues such as enforcement, payment options and customers’ convenience.

“The transition towards MLFF is still a work in progress as PLUS is committed to work with the government towards achieving this goal,” it said.

Commenting on the RFID tag selling price needing to be more affordable, PLUS said the RFID tag retail price was not decided or levied by the company in any way.

“It is at the sole discretion of Touch ‘n Go, who is the owner of the payment gateway products including the Touch ‘n Go card and SmartTAG device. The remit for PLUS is the installation, system integration and operation of the gantry- mounted readers at the toll plazas, while maintaining the ISO IEC180000-6C standard.

“As we receive more traffic through the RFID lanes, we collect more data. This additional data allows us to continuously tweak and refine the systems as required in order to give our customers a smoother journey experience,” it added.

The Touch ‘n Go RFID is the third toll payment option for highway customers on top of the existing Touch ‘n Go card and SmartTAG options.

“The toll plazas already have Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG and now a third convenient option, RFID is available for all to choose from. It offers the customers the freedom to choose whichever lane is most free flowing to maximise their toll payment convenience,” PLUS said.

“It is also easy to reload via one’s mobile phone through the Touch ‘n Go eWallet App at a click of a button. Through RFID, no battery-operated device is required, saving the cost of needing to purchase 9 Volt batteries periodically,” it added.-NST