21st March 2023 - 3 min read
Transport Minister Anthony Loke has said that commuters will soon have the option to also use credit and debit cards to pay for their public transport fares, in addition to the existing Touch ‘n Go (TNG) cards. This comes following the government’s directive to public transportation agencies and operators – such as Prasarana Malaysia and KTM Bhd – to adopt an open payment system.
“The ministry has received complaints from the public that there are limited choices of payment options. For example, you can only pay using a TNG card or a token at the LRT gantry entrance, but this will soon change. Buses and train riders can soon pay using any type of debit or credit card of their choice. This implementation will take some time as operators need to integrate the system, but they are working on it,” said the minister.
That said, Loke clarified that his ministry’s directive is only applicable to public transport operators in Malaysia, and not highway operators. “I can only speak for public transportation regarding this payment issue. It is up to LLM to adopt an open payment system,” he explained.
Briefly, the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Works. Meanwhile, public transport services that currently utilise TNG as a payment method include Prasarana buses (RapidKL and other feeder buses), Light Rail Transit (LRT), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Monorail, and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB).
Loke also stressed that this decision is not a move against Touch ‘n Go to end their services. “We do not intend to end TNG services, so please don’t say that we are trying to kill off TNG. It’s just that TNG will be one of several payment options rather than the only one,” he said.
Loke’s announcement came just a few days after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the government will look into reviewing TNG’s monopoly of the highway toll payments. He had also agreed that TNG’s system has become technologically stagnant after being in place for over two decades. Loke further updated that the PM has called for this matter to be discussed in the Cabinet as soon as possible, so that operators can make room for other payment systems to ensure that motorists will not be short of choices when travelling.
(Sources: The Edge Markets, Malay Mail)
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