From Cyberjaya to Taman Megah
Truth be told, and I am unapologetic about this, I often take tolled roads and highways, if it means getting to my destination fast and hassle-free. That's why I am prompt in reloading my touch-&-go.
I use my smart-tag very regularly. In fact, I often wonder why motorists don't do as I do -- use the smart tag lane -- if they are regular highway users.
Just looking at the heavily-queued "tunai" lanes makes me so stressful, I have to turn on some really good music to be de-stressed or distracted.
I don't mind paying that extra ringgit to reach Putrajaya, Bangsar, KLIA, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam.
And if it is going north to Ipoh or south to Singapore via Johor Baru -- do I have a choice?
Actually, I should be talking in the past tense because the recent toll hike on several highways which include those I frequent, is making me feel the pinch.
I know, I know. Everyone's bitching about the toll hike. Enough said already. As though anything I say now will make a difference.
I will say my piece, anyway.
Before this, I did try to make that little difference. I "boycotted" highways where the increase has been in effect. Yes, I had to bear with the inconvenience.
But, I suppose I no longer have the zest or the energy to continue doing so.
Too old for all this. I avoided the tolled highways once or twice. Maybe, even three times. Then, I went back to being the impatient townie who just wants to get to her destination fast and hassle-free.
Most times, of course, I do have a choice, because I do have the time to bear with the inconvenience.
Some people don't.
Take Jay, my niece who lives in Kelana Jaya, PJ and works in Cyberjaya. And this is about Jay and the many people like her.
She is a young (married) mother of two -- Ayra (19 months old) and Ayna (5 months). Just your average young working woman.
Before she was married she worked with an NGO in Taman Megah, PJ. After she got married, she was offered a job in Cyberjaya that came with better pay. She loved her NGO job because it was what she believed in. But she had to be practical. Soon, she was going to have a baby and the family could do with added income. She could take the Cyberjaya job with better pay and still hold on to her beliefs and idealism. What a happy compromise.
Besides, Cyberjaya wasn't that far. There was the LDP.
Yes, there was the LDP. And there is still the LDP. But today is a different story for her. Today she is reviewing her financial situation and is forced to make some adjustments.
She has made some calculations -- she has to fork out about RM460 a month on toll charges. She reckons she can buy a Gen 2 and make monthly loan repayments of that amount. But that is not the point.
You feel like you are being held at ransom. You pay your taxes so that in return you get good roads, among other things.
Good roads may not be your God-given right, but this is the new millennium, for heaven's sake. We are supposed to have good roads, good infrastructure.
So, we pay toll to have a nice drive to wherever we have to go. You have an option. Don't pay toll and you can take the dirt road, so to speak.
So, you pay the toll for that good drive along that good road, although sometimes I feel cheated because traffic seems to be piling up by the minute on these tolled roads.
So, my dear Jay. Looks like you do have to make that major adjustment. No one is listening to you or the thousands of motorists affected by the toll hike.
You are on your own. Your hardship is yours to carry, to bear. You are, after all, just the common people.
That NGO job in Taman Megah never looked so appealing, huh?
Now, you see her point?