SINGAPORE: Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges will be suspended at all gantries from Monday (Apr 6) on expectations that traffic will be significantly reduced following the closure of schools and most workplaces next week.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in a live telecast on Friday that all schools and workplaces - except for those providing essential services - will soon be closed under a month-long "circuit breaker" to stem the pandemic. Workplaces will be closed from Tuesday, while schools will move to full home-based learning from Wednesday. This will be in place until May 4.
"Once these measures are implemented, we expect an immediate and significant reduction in traffic volume," said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a news release on Saturday.
The move comes after LTA reduced ERP rates at 96 per cent of gantries in Singapore this week, citing “exceptional circumstances” due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"In view of the elevated set of safe distancing measures, LTA will cease ERP charging at all gantries from Monday, 6 April 2020 at 0000 hours," it said.
ERP charges will resume when those measures are lifted, it said.
"LTA will continue to monitor the situation closely. In the meantime, we strongly urge all Singaporeans to adhere to all safe distancing measures," said LTA.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a separate Facebook post on Saturday that he had asked LTA to suspend ERP charging in expectations that road traffic "should plunge further".
"Most physical workplaces will be closed and schools will move to home-based learning ... With these measures, road traffic should plunge further," Mr Khaw said.
"All gantries will stop charging for one month as we expect traffic to be light. Meanwhile, let’s cooperate with MOH: Stay home, stay safe and stay focused on keeping COVID at bay," he said.