Saturday, 27 February 2016

ERP 2.0: LTA to roll out next-generation ERP from 2020

Gantries to make way for islandwide ERP by 2020
LTA awards contract; new system can charge according to actual distance travelled
By Christopher Tan, Senior Transport Correspondent, The Straits Times, 26 Feb 2016

Singapore has cleared the way for its next-generation Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system, which will have islandwide coverage and the ability to charge according to distance travelled.

It will be built by local company NCS and Japan's MHI Engine System, Land Transport Authority chief executive Chew Men Leong announced yesterday.

The new system will replace the current gantry-based ERP system in place since 1998. It will be rolled out from 2020.


There will be an 18-month transition period between the old and new systems, when motorists will swop their current in-vehicle unit for a sophisticated, smartphone- size on-board unit.


Among other things, this unit will be able to alert drivers of priced roads well in advance, before turn-offs to alternative routes. It will also inform them of charges and provide real-time traffic information. LTA said drivers armed with this information can better decide when to drive, which route to take or leave the car at home and take public transport instead.


The Government will foot the bill for the first on-board unit.


The new ERP system will eventually charge motorists based on the distance they travel, rather than the number of gantries they pass through. Reporter Olivia Siong explains. http://bit.ly/1QfrWYi
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Thursday, February 25, 2016


During the transition period, motorists can expect no change to the current charging regimen. After the transition phase, LTA will look into the option of distance-charging, as the technology is in place.


If LTA goes down that road, it could mean significantly higher ERP charges for road users with high mileages, such as taxi drivers, deliverymen and bus operators.

Mr Chew said there was no timeline for the implementation of distance-charging. But other functions of the new system will be available from day one. These include real-time traffic information, coupon-less streetside parking and automatic payment for offpeak car owners who drive during peak periods.

This means the system, which uses satellite navigation technology, has islandwide coverage. In places where coverage may be weak, such as in tunnels or under viaducts, signal beacons will be in place.


Singapore's new ERP system will be rolled out in 2020, and during the transition period of 18 months between the old and new systems, the Land Transport Authority's Chief Executive Chew Men Leong reassures motorists that their road pricing policy will not change. http://bit.ly/24qMKFT
Posted by 938LIVE on Thursday, February 25, 2016


Mr Chew said the winning bid was superior to the one submitted by ST Electronics, the other bidder. At $556 million, it will cost less than half the $1.2 billion that ST Electronics had sought.

National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der- Horng said that when the new road-pricing system is in place, Singapore can rethink current methods of curbing car demand.

"It can help us do away with the current buffet-style certificate of entitlement (COE) system and move towards an a la carte system based on actual mileage clocked."

"Currently, our COE system actually encourages vehicle owners to drive as much as they can since the (big) payment has already been made," Professor Lee said."It is just like we tend to eat more than we should at buffets."





Good afternoon folks! We have awarded the tender to develop the next-generation Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Thursday, February 25, 2016











ERP 2.0 goes the distance with new tech
Wireless, gantry-less system tracks vehicles by satellite, alerting drivers to priced roads
The Straits Times, 26 Feb 2016

From 2020, Singapore's streetscape will look different in one respect - the blue-and-white Electronic Road Pricing gantries dotting the Central Business District and major highways will be dismantled.

The next-generation ERP system will rely on satellite navigation technology to keep track of the vehicle population. That means the entire island is covered.

In areas where satellite coverage is weak, signal beacons will be erected - possibly on existing infrastructure such as lamp posts and overhead bridges. Enforcement cameras will also be mounted on lamp posts and overhead bridges.

"There will be very light structures," said Land Transport Authority deputy chief executive Chua Chong Kheng.

In fact, that is one of the reasons the LTA is replacing the current gantry-based system. There are 70-plus gantries in use today, and erecting more may be visually intrusive.

Maintenance is also becoming a costly affair, the authority said.

The new system makes use of a smartphone-size, on-board unit that communicates with a central computer system via a dedicated 4G cellular network. It informs motorists of a priced road ahead, as well as the charges, allowing them enough time to switch routes.

Each vehicle is tracked by satellites orbiting the Earth. Payments are made either upfront using stored-value cards in the on-board unit, or through monthly deductions via Giro or credit/debit cards.

Vehicles without an on-board unit or valid payment mode will be captured by the enforcement cameras.

As it is a wireless, gantry-less system tracked by satellites, charging does not have to be confined to fixed locations, but can be dynamic. This means motorists can be charged for the distance they clock.

Mr Chua said these functions will not be rolled out immediately when the system is up in four years' time.

"There will already be a lot of new things for motorists to get used to. So we don't want to do too many things at one time," he said.

National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der-Horng concurred. "This system is the only one in the world. There will be systemic issues that the authority and vendor have to deal with," he said.

The new system is not just a congestion tool. It will also facilitate coupon-less street-side parking and automatic charging of off-peak car usage. It will also push out real-time traffic information to all road users through the on-board unit.

"This will help road users make travel choices in a well-informed manner," Prof Lee said.

Mr Chua added that, armed with the information, motorists might even decide not to drive to a particular location at a particular time, and use public transport instead.

The LTA said there will be an 18-month migration period from the current system to the new one.

During this period, motorists will swop their current ERP in-vehicle units for new on-board units. The cost of the first unit, plus installation, will be borne by the LTA.

As for when distance-charging will be implemented, the LTA would not say. LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong would only say "this is something we actually have to examine and consider" after the new system is in place.





Readers have raised concerns about privacy issues. Senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan explains that data is anonymised.
Posted by The Straits Times on Saturday, February 27, 2016





ERP 2.0: What it means to you
It paves the way for changes in road-use habits and tweaks in policies
By Christopher Tan, Senior Transport Correspondent, The Straits Times, 27 Feb 2016

As early as the 1960s, Singapore has recognised the need to regulate road usage. It introduced high vehicular taxes, which cars bore the brunt of (since, it was argued, cars made the most discretionary and non-commercial trips).

But it wasn't car ownership per se that caused congestion. It was usage. Hence, in 1975, the Government launched the Area Licensing Scheme, a paper-permit precursor to Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), which was implemented from 1998.


On Thursday, the Land Transport Authority announced it had awarded a contract to build a next-generation gantry-less ERP system. What will ERP 2.0 mean to road users, businesses and Singaporeans at large?

For starters, it is useful to recognise how different the new system is.

Because it is based on satellite navigation technology, the new ERP system has islandwide coverage. But it does not mean motorists will be charged the moment they leave the house.

It will apply only to congested roads. And as a congestion charging tool, it will be finer than the current system because it can zero in on precise spots where jams are likely to occur. The current static system forms a rough cordon around a congestion-prone area - which can be very wide and crude.

Shop and eatery owners who have complained in the past about ERP affecting their business could find cheer in ERP 2.0, which, if calibrated well, will not sterilise a whole district.

And with all other factors being equal, motorists could end up paying less than today. Instances where motorists find themselves under another gantry after a wrong turn, or having to pass two gantries within a short stretch, may be a thing of the past.

Much depends on whether the LTA flips the distance-charging switch. Distance-charging is the new system's killer app, as it allows the LTA to charge each road user for the exact amount of road space he consumes. This changes the current ballgame.

Those who are likely to bear the biggest brunt of distance-charging will be those who typically clock high mileage - such as cabbies, deliverymen and bus operators.

But as always, behaviours will change and things will evolve around new policies. It is likely that taxi-drivers will cruise less for fares, and commuters will rely more on electronic hailing via apps.

Logistics companies will alter their operating hours and routes (or even truck-pool) - which is a good thing because commercial vehicles currently take up an inordinately high amount of road capacity.

Bus operators will see their expenses go up, but ERP charges are still likely to be minute compared with manpower, depreciation and fuel expenditure.

How impactful the system will be also depends on how open policymakers are to tweaking components such as COE and road tax. When ERP was introduced, road tax rebates were granted. So the same could be done for ERP 2.0. Motorists can then decide on ways to use the savings other than blowing them on ERP charges.

ERP 2.0 also presents a golden opportunity for Singapore to overhaul its COE system, which has been blamed for perpetuating the sunk-cost syndrome and over-consumption of road capacity.

If the lifespan of the COE is tied to a predetermined mileage - say, 120,000km - instead of 10 years, people will naturally use their cars more judiciously. The ability to track the distance clocked by each vehicle makes this feasible.

Readers have raised concerns about privacy issues. As mentioned before, data collected is anonymised. The degree of anonymity can be calibrated, so that the system knows how many kilometres you clocked but not where you went and when (or with whom).

In any case, anyone who carries a mobile phone today is already "tracked".

ERP 2.0 has other benefits, like real-time dissemination of traffic info, which will help drivers plan their journeys better, or to decide whether they should even drive.

Other functions include coupon-less street-side parking and automatic charging of off-peak car usage outside the prescribed hours. This means more convenience for drivers, who no longer have to worry about over- or under-tearing parking coupons. Same for off-peak car owners.

The Government in turn can save tens of millions a year on enforcement and prosecution. With that, perhaps it will invest in the next ERP - which is not Electronic Road Pricing, but Electronic Road Protocol. To be rolled out in 2040, it will oversee a sizeable population of autonomous vehicles here by then.




A new generation of ERP system will be launched in 2020. The new charging system and design of the new On-Board Units...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Friday, February 26, 2016









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