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Very unique system here, some singaporeans call it " EveryDay Rob People"

SINGAPORE : The Land Transport Authority is adding new Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries along the Central Expressway (CTE) and Orchard Road in an effort to ease peak hour traffic flow in those areas.

ERP operating hours at Orchard Road will also be extended by an hour and into the weekend.

The LTA wants to cut the link between Orchard Road and the rest of the Central Business District.

This is because its own survey had found that about 30 percent of motorists bypass Orchard Road without stopping to shop.

And that adds to the traffic snarl towards the end of each day.

Dr Chin Kian Keong, Chief Engineer of Transportation at LTA, said: "What we want is to have Orchard as a distinct cordon from the CBD and so we can introduce different charges at different times of the day. The intent is to benefit genuine shoppers so those who are using Orchard to bypass the CBD will be discouraged from doing so."

Two gantries will be added near the former Cathay Building and near the YMCA.

From October, the Orchard Road gantries will charge between 50 cents and $2.50 during weekdays and 50 cents on Saturdays.

All the Orchard Road ERP charges will end at 8pm.

The ERP charges at Orchard will be independent from the charges going into the CBD.

This is because of the difference in traffic patterns in both areas.

In October when the change takes effect, at least it would not cost motorists anything to go into Orchard during the morning hours.

Reactions from motorists are mixed.

"What? I have to pay again to get out?"

"I think it's better."

For motorists living in the northern parts of Singapore, going home may cost them a little more when they use the Central Expressway.

From August 1 on weekdays from 6pm to 8pm, motorists heading north along the CTE will be charged between 50 cents and a dollar.

LTA said initially, it had deferred using ERP charges to control traffic jams.

In 2002, it widened the expressway with one additional lane.

The opening of the North East MRT line also provided alternatives for commuters.

Dr Chin added: "That helped but did not help for very long. Six months later, and today it is just as congested as before. So the ERP gantry is to help manage traffic conditions so that the CTE will be optimised and traffic will flow at its optimal condition."

Apart from revamping the ERP system from time to time, the LTA is also encouraging commuters to consider using alternative routes and public transportation to help ease Singapore's traffic woes.

Last year, the LTA collected about $77 million from ERP charges alone. It maintains the latest ERP changes were not designed as a revenue generating exercise. - CNA/de
 

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Charging Bull said:
Last year, the LTA collected about $77 million from ERP charges alone. It maintains the latest ERP changes were not designed as a revenue generating exercise. - CNA/de
Yah right.......
 
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