Timothy Tye
Electronic Road Pricing

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Electronic Road PricingAn ERP gantry along North Bridge Road, next to PARCO Bugis Junction, Singapore
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ERPBugis.JPG

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Electronic Road Pricing or ERP is a form of toll system used in Singapore. Its history dates back to 1975, when an Area Licensing System was implemented, creating a restricted zone out of the Central Business District of Singapore. Since then, the country has upgraded the sophistication of its system to combat road congestion, and stands as a pioneer in introducing electronic collection of tolls.

Electronic Road Pricing, as we know today, was first implemented by the Land Transport Authority in 1998. It uses ERP gantries located at roads entering the Central Business District as well as along expressways and roads with heavy traffic usage during peak hours. There is a total of some 80 gantries all over Singapore today.

Installed on the gantries are sensors. When a vehicle passes under the gantry, an amount is deducted from a stored-value card within the vehicle. The amount deducted depends on the time of day. The toll incurred for a trip in Singapore can vary significantly depending on the time of day as well as distance and the number of gantries along the route.

An ERP on the Wayang Satu Flyover in SingaporeAn ERP on the Wayang Satu Flyover in Singapore
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dunearn_Rd_-_Wayang_Satu_flyover_20060402.JPG

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The stored-value card for payment of the the ERP is inserted into an In-Vehicle Unit (IU) mounted on the lower right corner of the front windcreen. The driver of the vehicle can see the balance value on the card. The early generation IU accepts the CashCard, while the later generation models accept the contactless NETS CashCard and EZ-Link Card.

Driving through the gantry with insufficient stored value in your stored-value card is a violation resulting in a fine posted to you within two weeks. You have to pay the fine along with a S$10 administration fee within two weeks of receiving the notification. If you fail to do so, you will be slapped with a penalty of S$70 which rises to S$1000 or one month jail, if not settled within 30 days.

Needless to say, the public is not too happy with the implementation of the ERP. Nonetheless, it has managed to control the amount of traffic congestion on the roads in Singapore.
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