Electronic Road Pricing (ERP)

Introduced in 1998, it was implemented to replace the Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) and the Road Pricing Scheme (RPS) [implemented in 1995].

The ALS was used only for the restricted zones, and RPS for the expressways. The ERP system, incorporates these two systems into a single system, making the control of traffic much more efficient and organised.


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Police Officer at an ALS gantry

Rationale
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RPS Gantry


With the advancement of data technology, ERP was implemented to mechanise and automate the labour-intensive and inconvenient ALS system. Instead of police officers monitoring whether or not the vehicle had purchased a license to enter the Restricted Zone, the ERP was much effective as the process of purchasing and utilising the licence was simplified into a single process.







At any single time, 60 police officers had to be present at the ALS and RPS gantries, and another 60 officials had to be at the licence cell booths. The police officers had to spend long hours under the hot sun and rain along the road, which was both noisy and dusty. The licences came in different colours and shapes, based on the month, type of vehicle, as well as whether it was for ALS or RPS. Furthermore, police officers checked these licences visually, and human error was inevitable, which could lead to erroneous fining of motorists.


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ERP Gantry


Description

The ERP system was introduced as a means of congestion pricing, which charges vehicles for entering a designated area by paying a fee, with the purposes of minimising congestion within the area. Singapore was the first city in the world to implement electronic congestion pricing.

The ERP also took into consideration the time of day and the location of the gantry, in addition to the type of vehicle, in calculating the ERP charges the vehicle has to pay, unlike the former ALS. This was much more effective in controlling vehicular traffic.

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Blue: ALS Pricing, Red: ERP Pricing


In September 1998, there were 33 ERP gantries. With the rapid growth in population and increase in vehicles on the road, more ERP gantries have been set up, to the current 80 gantries.


Effectiveness


Road traffic had decreased 25,000 vehicles during peak hours, with average road speeds increasing 20%. Within the restricted zone, traffic had gone down 13% during ERP operational hours, with vehicle numbers dropping from 270,000 to 235,000.


Guiding Principles of Governance

- Anticipate Change and Stay Relevant
  • Singapore was the first city in the world to implement an electronic congestion pricing system (in replacement of a manual one). The government was able to foresee that with the increasing number of vehicles on the road, manual labour would soon prove to be extremely inefficient in controlling traffic. As such, the government invested in this technology and successfully implemented the ERP system in Singapore.
  • Understandably, the public was not contented with the implementation of the ERP system, as it would mean more taxes on them. However, the government has continued to put up more ERP gantries around Singapore, instead of removing the whole system, which would result in massive traffic jams along the expressways and in the CBD, which drastically affects the convenience of our transportation system.

- A Stake for Everyone, Opportunities for All
  • The Central Expressway (CTE) often had long traffic jams during the evening peak hours due to the large muber of motorists who return home after work each day. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) considered setting up a gantry along CTE, which was opposed by motorists who did not want to pay for the time to go home.

    LTA noticed the protests and gathered public feedback which responded that the jams along the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) caused the CTE jams, and widened the road between the PIE and Braddell Road in 2003. The completion of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway also served to ease the situation. In the end, LTA constructed an ERP gantry along PIE after the jams continued.