The Dreaded ERP

ERP stands for Electronic Road Pricing. An amount gets deducted from your car’s cashcard each time you go through this structure. If you don’t have enough money in your cashcard you will get a fine. There is no avoiding it and it’s the number one thing motorists complain about in Singapore. Especially motorists who drive to work during the peak hours and have to go through a couple of gantries. If you take a cab, you incur the charges in your taxi fee.  The one time charge may not seem so much, but it all adds up. I really wonder if it’s the ERP system together with the restriction on the number of cars on the road that has led to us not experiencing the kind of standstill traffic jams that are present elsewhere in the world.

I just look forward to our public transport improving even more, and an ever expanding MRT line is very much appreciated by me.  (It’s actually quite lovely to take at off peak hours when you can get a seat.) That would definitely encourage more people to take the train instead without having to worry about being late for work or being crushed liked sardines. Some may not think its too bad, but it’s problem for me as I suffer from claustrophobia.

I do know some people in my life who cycle to work, but without a dedicated cycle lane it just seems quite dangerous to me for both the cyclist and other road users if the cyclist is not responsible and swerves across lanes. The same goes for the impatient drivers of other vehicles.

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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5 Responses to The Dreaded ERP

  1. R64 says:

    I love Singapore’s MRT! If you compare it to public transport in the Netherlands, the MRT is better on all counts: timeliness, costs, neatness, and you can get to almost anywhere with it. At least, it was more than sufficient for our trips. I’m sure that if you have to commute to somewhere where there isn’t an MRT station, you’ll probably have another opinion.

    I didn’t know about the ERP, but I personally can appreciate a system that tries to nudge you towards alternative means of transport. If only bike riding would be encouraged more, indeed! As a Dutchman, I’m pretty much a bicycle expert ;), but I wouldn’t dare to cross the streets in Singapore.

    (ps. I almost broke my monitor trying to reach for that super delicious laksa from your other post!!)

    • bookjunkie says:

      Heheheh…..that laksa was yum. Have you had Penang style assam laksa before?

      For me the best public transport I’ve been on were the trams in Adelaide criss-crossing the city. Just loved them.

      In Japan I would have been lost without a companion as there were no signs in English. Would love to try a traditional type train in Japan though. They seem quite magical.

  2. notabilia says:

    I ADORE the MRT (especially the buses) and am a huge fan of the ERP. We tried to get ‘congestion pricing’ in NYC, but there’s no political will to make it happen. I wish I could bike more but the drivers here are NUTS. They really don’t know how to share the road. I walk everywhere and I’ve been nearly hit dozens of times.

    • bookjunkie says:

      Oh yes….I often feel like I am going to be knocked down by an impatient driver. They come so close and they speed in places where they are not supposed to speed. It’s really quite scary.

      Taking the Bus and MRT at non peak hours is quite a treat, but when I had to take them at peak hours I used to cave in and splurge on a cab instead. Too many elbows in my face and no free pole or handle to hold on it – couldn’t take it. Not sure how it is at peak hour now though. I am so glad that the circle line has expanded.

  3. Crystal says:

    When I was in the US I read an article saying that the US should emulate the ERP to reduce traffic in the major cities. Of course it was oversimplified because the US lacks the major transit infrastructure that SG has and we dont’ have anything like COE’s or limits on how old cars on the road can be so getting a car is also much less pricey. It was a fairly oversimplified piece, but I felt kind of proud that I could point out the flaws in it, having lived here in SG for over a year now.

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