Forum: Tweak ERP system to reward road users with rebates, credits

Since its inception in 1998, our trailblazing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system has inspired other cities to adopt similar mechanisms to address their traffic congestion problems. 

I believe the ERP charging mechanism could do with a tweak, notwithstanding the impending implementation of the next generation system, which charges by the distance covered by motorists.

In preparation for the roll-out of the new system, existing ERP in-vehicle units (IUs) will be replaced with new on-board units (OBUs) that can display more information such as charges the motorist will incur for a particular journey.

Currently, motorists are “penalised” for using busy roads during peak hours, but they do not get “rewards” for making an effort to do otherwise.  

Though one might argue there is already an implicit “savings” that comes from deliberately avoiding busy roads or taking alternative routes during peak periods, I hope the authorities can take a further step by incentivising road users in the form of traffic rebates and credits.

These can be credited into road users’ GovWallet or equivalent account. 

The credits could be given upon road-tax renewal, for example, and these can then be used to defray ERP charges. 

With high prevailing certificate of entitlement prices, I believe road users would welcome this gesture.  

Koh Lip Wee

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