SINGAPORE: The distanced-based model for the new Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system will give authorities more flexibility in managing vehicle use, transport analysts told Channel NewsAsia.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (Feb 22) announced that it has awarded the tender to build the next-generation, satellite-based Electronic Road Pricing system to the consortium of NCS and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System Asia (MHI).
"What we really want to see is the drivers, the car owners, be more careful in making their decision, be more mindful of the congestion that they are contributing to the traffic system,” said Professor Lee Der Hong from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from the National University of Singapore.
“So in order to achieve this, the ERP 2 system has this potential to get people to move away from the very rigid mindset, which is the ‘one-time payment’ mindset, so that we can practice more flexible car ownership control, to transfer the vehicle usage costs through the ERP system, rather than the conventional Certificate of Entitlement."
"We will set a clear target or clear direction that we're moving into a car-light society and we'd like to discourage people to use their private car and use more of the public transportation or alternative mode of transportation,” said Dr Park Byung Joon, an adjunct associate professor at SIM University.
“And if we really want to achieve that and if people keep using the car the way they do before, which is to keep driving into the congested area in the peak hour, then it's not just whether they will pay more, they should pay more."
He added that several details need to be buttoned down, including how the ERP charges are calculated. "Are we charging the same money when a person is using a congested road and non-congested road, and non-peak hour and peak hour? This has to be ironed out," said Dr Park.
Motorists Channel NewsAsia spoke with agreed that more information is needed on the eventual charges.
One person who declined to be named cited concerns about potential security and privacy issues, as the system will be able to locate vehicles and calculate the distance travelled. "People will know when you leave your house, when your house is empty and all. I think it's a very big concern."