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ERP rates in CBD to go up, new gantries added, does it work?

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Aston
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ERP rates in CBD to go up, new gantries added, does it work?

Postby Aston » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 12:29 pm

Hi all,

I am not so sure how other countries control their traffic flow, but in Singapore, apparently ERP is the only or main control used.

By 7 July 08, 5 more gantries will be added, few ERP rates will increase, few ERP hours will be extended, and this is not the 1st time in year 2008. More are to be expected by November 2008, and that will make 3 increment of the rates within a year. Is it reasonable increase? Does it really improve the flow? If it's aim is to divert the flow, so it will cause other road to have heavier traffic. Does it means they will put more gantries there?

LTA's argument of increasing the rate is that the motorist are getting less sensitive to the existing rates. So does increasing the rate will prevent motorist to be more sensitive or will motorist get use to it, and get less sensitive again?

CNA News link to this article:
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/354705/1/.html

Apparently the victims, true victims are those middle class people who do not own cars. The reason is simple, most business owner will divert the charges to the consumers, transportation fee/allowance increases will only cause increase in other prices.

My personal view is this implementation will only slightly delay the problem but at the price of higher living standard which apparently will add more load to the people staying here.

I sure hope maybe the traffic control practise from other countries can help in Singapore.

I understand there is no perfect solution, but sure hope there is a better working solution.

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Aston
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 4:14 pm

Actually, it's more sinister than that.

The government know that the local population will continue to drive no matter what they do. Used to be a joke here that they would sell their grandmother in order to own a car. This was especially so back in the early days of the COE program when at one point they had bid the COE (a silly piece of paper mind you) to $104,000.00 just to have permission to buy a car that is hugely overpriced with at that time 170% import duties as well.

So, this is a good way for the Government to keep their coffers filled to the brim while is giving away goodies to keep the peons voting for the PAP. If they need more money, put up more gantries and raise the rates. No problem. They won't quit driving, they just beach in the kopishop and keep topping up their cashcards.

Traffic control in other countries? Like which ones? London, from what I gather is a mess. New York? better off with a bicycle. Jakarta? Forgeddit! Bangkok? Hahahah

Bicycles only? There's a thought..... :wink:

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Postby Turtle » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 4:48 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So, this is a good way for the Government to keep their coffers filled to the brim while is giving away goodies to keep the peons voting for the PAP. If they need more money, put up more gantries and raise the rates. No problem. They won't quit driving, they just beach in the kopishop and keep topping up their cashcards.


Exactly, if the number of cars on the road was really the driving force behind the government's behaviour, there would be a much easier solution. Limit the number of COE's sold. Have a ballot. Make it so that to buy a new COE, you had to have proof that you de-registered a car. Maybe make taxis exempt from ERP so that they become cheaper compared to owning a car. Fact is that the gov't has the power to act directly, but instead they would rather take from both ends. They want people to buy more cars so that they get both more COE money and more ERP money.

As for ERP and the way that it's going, a taxi driver said it best - "Every Road Pay!"

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 5:04 pm

The real problem is that right now the LTA's allowance for new vehicles on the roads every year is all scrapped vehicles plus 3 percent of current vehicle population. So, 2009 will be 103 percent of 2008, 2010 will be 106.1 percent, 2011 will be 1.093 percent and so on.

The problem is that the road availability is not increasing at the same rate. The increase in ERP charges is an attempt (not successful) to try to limit traffic congestion caused by the yearly increase in vehicles.

The only real way to control things is to lower the yearly percentage but as the transportation minister pointed out, if you reduce yearly growth to just 1.5 percent, then the only thing you do is make things take twice as long to grow to gridlock.

I suspect expats are a major source of the problem with the expectation of buying a car when they arrive (often company subsidized).

There is no real solution to the traffic problem except to further limit the number of new vehicles on the road and that will make a lot of people unhappy.

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Postby Plavt » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 5:14 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Traffic control in other countries? Like which ones? London, from what I gather is a mess.


Traffic control in London? What traffic control? More like a plethora of parking/money making schemes. When it comes to parking most places have controlled zones where locals have to pay an annual levy to park outside their own homes, obtain permits for their own visitors and even people coming to work in the area. While in central London you have pay £5 for the privilege of entering the area. :x

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Postby Aston » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 5:18 pm

The cars will only get cheaper when more lower ended cars are being imported, like the China brands, and Korea brands, maybe soon India brands. This will definitely speed up the increase in the rate of car growth.

The rate of increase in car growth vs rate of increase/widening in road is kind of similar to the rate of increase in expense vs rate of increase in wages. :o

Maybe our Business Minded Government is looking further than this. Ultimately, many average joe will not be able to afford cars, or can afford to buy 1 but can't afford to drive it on the road often. So by making the average joe's expenses increase faster than anyone can expect, they will stop driving or stop buying cars. By then the traffic flow will be better??? :shock:
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Postby Turtle » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 5:26 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:The real problem is that right now the LTA's allowance for new vehicles on the roads every year is all scrapped vehicles plus 3 percent of current vehicle population. So, 2009 will be 103 percent of 2008, 2010 will be 106.1 percent, 2011 will be 1.093 percent and so on.

The problem is that the road availability is not increasing at the same rate. The increase in ERP charges is an attempt (not successful) to try to limit traffic congestion caused by the yearly increase in vehicles.


When you get down to it, the problem is that there are just too many people in this tiny country. Expats, locals, everybody - there is just no physical way to fit all of these cars on the road, if Singaporeans owned as many cars as say Americans do, as a percentage of the population. Every bit of land would be road! And as people here get wealthier, more will want cars. At least if you live in London, or LA, or another city, you can still get out of the city when you need to - here there's just no chance other than going to Malaysia. Even our "suburbs" are crammed with high-rise HDBs just to fit all the people in.

Though I suppose people managed to put up with almost the entire population living in little boxes stacked on top of each other as high as need be, so maybe drivers can live to accept it too. Maybe in the future, instead of having 4 or 5 lanes side by side, every expressway will also have lanes above on a bridge, and underground in a tunnel along its whole length.

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Postby banana » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 12:11 am

It is entirely possible for Singapore to operate on the existing number of vehicles. What needs to change is the mindset and perceived societal norms, and unfortunately, this is a burden placed on the shoulders of the populace when it has to be initiated and supported by the authorities and business owners.

Greater staggering of work hours, encouraging work from home arrangements, and a genuine interest in staff welfare are just some ways. A great number of businesses here are supporting branches in Europe, US. Yet most have regular 9-6 operating hours, with 'overtime' demands during crucial periods. It's almost like we are resisting the very idea of an enlightened city that never sleeps we claim to aspire towards.
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Postby bruinbear » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 6:32 pm

Govt cut road tax what. Minister said ERP increases not revenue generating.

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Postby ProvenPracticalFlexible » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 7:35 pm

Hey banana, for jumping yellow fruit you make sense sometimes. I really do not understand the 9 to 6 attitude in general, and especially here in Singapore. There are many jobs were more flexible working hours would be practical. It seems some old farmer fisherman logic that to be a hard working one needs to start in the morning and work during day light.

About the ERP, I would say it works pretty well. For this size city in a small area the traffic is pretty good. For longer term solution there is a plan for lot more MRT lines in the coming 10 years. Of course the people who want to drive to city and somehow think that it is their birthright, complain about the ERP and fuel price. There’s an easy solution take MRT or bus. Having more cars is no solution, neither is widening the roads.

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Postby banana » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 7:49 pm

Reports of my insanity are greatly exaggerated. :wink:
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Re: ERP rates in CBD to go up, new gantries added, does it w

Postby cavalier » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:42 pm

Aston wrote:I sure hope maybe the traffic control practise from other countries can help in Singapore.


Actually little chance of this since Singapore's approach is usually offered as a success when discussing traffic problems in other cities. Politically though the idea never gets far (like in New York recently).

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Postby cavalier » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:50 pm

By the way, SMS, how can you say ERP doesn't reduce traffic? Didn't you recently outline how much you save by not driving? Iif someone drives into the CBD every day, the increased ERP enters into their same computation of the costs and benefits that you evidently made.

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Postby bruinbear » Sun, 22 Jun 2008 2:32 pm

If it doesn't work, govt will just raise the ERP rates even further. Now $2, next time $3, then $4, then $5.... at some point it will work.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 22 Jun 2008 3:38 pm

cavalier wrote:By the way, SMS, how can you say ERP doesn't reduce traffic? Didn't you recently outline how much you save by not driving? Iif someone drives into the CBD every day, the increased ERP enters into their same computation of the costs and benefits that you evidently made.


But how many like me actually give up their vehicles? I am an extreme minority. I've often said, common sense is in very short supply on this island. I wasn't kidding. Actually the figures I save are going up everyday considering the constanting increasing ERP rates. But, as pointed out by SE and others above, the growth of car ownership says that there are more drivers and not less. ERP doesn't reduce traffic as all, it just reroutes it for a little while. Just track the rate increases on different avenues into the city from the same general direction of a period of a year and you will see what I mean. Then as the new avenue with the lesser rates get's jammed up LTA will then raise those gantry rates, always one step behind but traffic is still the same for all intents as purposes.

The only thing that the ERP is "supposed" do to is to smooth traffic flow heading into the city during the rush hours. If fails miserably however but it does generate more revenue for the government because of refusal to use the excellent public transport system that is always being tweaked.


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