Monday, March 30, 2009

ERP shift congestion to other roads

I drove from my home to Orchard Hotel to attend a conference. I paid $4.50 to pass 2 ERP gantries along the CTE. But, I got stuck in slow traffic along the PIE and wasted 20 minutes. So, the high charges did not help to reduce my travelling time.

Many people drive private cars to work. This caused congestion on the major roads. The ERP does not help to reduce congestion. It only shift the congestion to other roads.

A better way is to develop more efficient public transport. We need a system similar to Hong Kong where light buses bring people for short distances to the nearest train station or bus interchange. Most people wait 1 minute for a light bus.

With many people out of work in Singapore, it is time for the Land Transport Authority to set the framework for them to make a living by driving a light bus, and offering a service to the travelling public. This may reduce congestion on the road. 


  1. Singapore has always been backward and behind in the transportation system in comparison to HK.

    HK is spoilt for choices, to the extend that most people would not want to drive unless really necessary. Some of these include:

    (i) MRT - The MRT system covers most of the HK Island, Kowloon & the new territories.

    (ii) LRT - Further areas are covered by the LRT (light Rail System) and

    (iii) Trains - train system which goes direct into China. All these are linked.

    (iii) Large Buses - Then there are the large buses, with several operators, run by private companies, mind you, not a government controlled monopoly over the whole of HK

    (iv) minibuses (green) - with fixed routes for distances not covered by the MRT, or large buses, sometimes in conjunction, and according to the needs of te community

    (v) minibuses (red) - with no fixed routes

    (vi) taxis - red serving the whole of HK, green - the new territories, blue - offshore island. In HK you get discounts for calling a taxi. In Singapore you pay surcharges, then ERP, and what have you.

    I may not have covered all the transportation systems available in HK but even these already shows how porrly SIngapore fare on this. The transport costs are also manageable and kept in line by the government and legislators.

    What does Singapore have? A pale comparison.

    A high percentage of the people in HK take the public transport beacuse of the very well developed and efficient transportation system. I for one also do, even though I own a private car.

    However, one cannot imagine beng in Singapore, and being able to move around efficiently without being hampered if one has to take the public transport, except for a fraction of the area in Singapore.

    How can there be no traffic jams then, with most of the people in Singapore driving due to the POORLY developed transpotation system.

    There is more than 7 million people in HK, not accounting for all the intransit visitors and expatriates, and the main city in the central is also full of cars but not to the extent that I have experienced in Singapore where even the expressways are slow with jams most of the time, on the PIE, CTE and god knows where else.

    The ERP is to help esase the congestion? think again? it is oviously just to collect more money... so tat there will be eough surplus to line our million dollar salaried ministers comfortably.

    There used to be ligt buses (mini buses) if I recalled a long long time ago, but the government somehow managed to dispense with this with various reasons, which includes being non profitable.

    Public transport is to serve te public not make a major fortune or profit out of this, which is in the case of the Singapore transport system. In HK, tis is controlled.

  2. Agreed. In addition, it is very expensive to park in HK, both at home and at office.

    I would say Singapore tranport is quite well planned, in term of coverage. The problem is that it doesn't save time. If I take public transport to work, I need to take bus--MRT--bus, including waiting time and walking time, it is 1.5 hour per trip, 3 hours a day gone.

  3. Other than improving public transport, the government must build more roads, especially multi-level roads.

    This is done in densely populated cities such as Tokyo, where 5 or 6 level expressways are not uncommon.

    The government's present system of COEs and ERPs appears to only serve to line its own pockets, and not fix the root problem of traffic congestion.

  4. Why with ERP still has traffic jams? It's becos drivers busy looking at the huge and nice display panel on ERP gantry to see how much they're paying or wait till certain time for ERP price to drop. I wrote an email to LTA in Oct 08 on this issue but till today no reply from them yet. LTA should study driver's behaviour when designing the display panel before implementing it. If now remove it can't justify taxpayer's $, if still keep it can't explain why there're still traffic jams. May be the best reply for LTA is to remain silent...

  5. The huge and nice display panel on ERP gantry may be the culprit of traffic jams as it only slow down vehicular speed due to motorist curiosity to check on how much was the deduction or due to motorist slowing down in waiting for ERP price drop at certain time. Remove it now can't justify taxpayers' $$. Keep it now can't explain why there're still traffic jams with ERP. The best reply is to keep silent and history has once again shown that S'poreans do have a short memory...

  6. There are many good suggestions on improving public transport here.

    But one can safely bet that none will be implemented simply because they will eat into the profits of SBS Transit and SMRT.

    And majority of the shares of the two "public transport" companies are own by who?


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