GEORGE TOWN, March 31 ― Car drivers who use the Second Penang Bridge to cross from the mainland to the island will be charged RM8.50 starting 6am tomorrow, ending a month-long free run following its opening on March 1.
In a statement yesterday, the Malaysian Highway Authority announced charges for use of the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah (SAHMS) Bridge ― Penang’s third link ― would be collected by operator Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) at two points with the first on the bridge itself and the second at the integrated Bandar Cassia Toll Plaza.
Those entering the bridge from the North-South Expressway (NSE) will have to pay twice as they will also have to take a link road before the bridge
The toll rate for cars except taxis and buses (Class 1) is set at RM0.60 for use of the link road at the Bandar Cassia toll plaza while the rate for the bridge is RM8.50 bringing the total toll rate to RM9.10 if users travel from the NSE to use the bridge.
Motorists coming from the Bunga Cengkih interchange in Batu Kawan need only pay the RM8.50 toll rate for the bridge as they will bypass the Bandar Cassia toll.
The bridge toll rate is only for one way so users heading towards Batu Maung on the island from Batu Kawan on the mainland will have to pay toll while those coming from the island and exit at Batu Kawan need not pay toll.
However, users coming from the island and exit at NSE will still have to pay the RM0.60 toll at the Bandar Cassia toll plaza as this is a two-way toll plaza.
The new rates for the second bridge are at least RM1.50 more expensive than the toll charges for the first bridge.
Car drivers who take the First Penang Bridge are charges RM7 one way ― heading into the island.
Regular users who own a special Touch-and-Go card sold only on the first bridge pay less ― RM5.60.
The special rate for the first bridge is only for Penangites who register their address and identity card with Touch and Go and it is limited to one card per person.
It is yet to be known if such a discount card will be made available for the second bridge.
The detailed toll rates for all vehicles using the SAHMS bridge are RM1.70 for motorcycles (Class 0), RM8.50 for cars and taxis except buses (Class 1 and Class 4), RM30.50 for two-axle and six-wheeled vehicles except buses (Class 2), RM70.10 for above three-axle vehicles except buses (Class 3), RM8.50 for taxis (Class 4) and RM26.20 for buses (Class 5).
The toll rates for the JKSB link road at the Bandar Cassia toll plaza are RM0.60 for Class 1, RM0.90 for Class 2, RM1.20 for Class 3, RM0.30 for Class 4 and RM0.50 for Class 5.
The SAHMS bridge, which is also Southeast Asia’s longest bridge, was opened to public on March 1 this year and has been toll-free in the first month.
The RM4.5 billion bridge is expected to relieve the congested first bridge by about 25 per cent with expected traffic of between 80,000 to 100,000 vehicles daily.
It will be the third link between the island and the mainland, with the ferry service and the first 13.5km bridge being the first and second links.
Due to its length, it will take motorists about 20 minutes to travel between the island and the mainland on the second bridge as compared to the 11 minutes using the shorter first bridge.