Wake up, ERP! S’pore’s in deep recession..

There’s something really wrong with the folks in charge of  Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing System..

I came to this conclusion today after paying two lots of ERP charges at $2 each, not because I came out of the restricted zone and went back in but because I went from an outer restricted zone to what appeared to be a restricted zone within a restricted zone.

I had gone to Central Mall via River Valley Road and paid $2 to enter the restricted zone. I paid $2.68 car parking fees and lo and behold as I got out of the carpark to head back to River Valley Road I found I had to cross another gantry (even tho I thought I was already in the restricted zone) and my cash card was another $2 poorer!

too much coverage

too much coverage

Come on, Minister for Transport, today is a Saturday and traffic flow was lighter than for normal days and also lighter than seen in those glorious Saturdays during boom times when all of Singapore seemed to be on the move, to spend, spend, spend.

Singapore is in recession and heading possibly for an 8 to 10% decline in GDP this year, if our trade — which is oxygen to our existence — should shrink any more. We’ve done the unprecedented thing of raiding our reserves to support Government spending and the mantra on everyone’s lips is to save jobs and stem further loss of confidence.

The consensus is that the world is seeing its worst banking crisis in 50 years; most people under 60 hasn’t seen anything so grim and even those in their 70s and 80s are probably too young to remember or know of the Great Depression first hand.

So those in charge of the ERP: u Rip Van Winkle in deep slumber or trying to undermine what the Minister for Finance is doing?

Retailers are dying. Yes, even the Central Food Court we went to was barely a quarter full when we reached it around 1pm.. Even my 85-year-old mother had nous enough to remark that things must be bad when even food courts are empty.

It’s time to cut ERP charges, if not remove them altogether, for Saturday. People need to be encouraged to spend some money and one of the best ways to do that is to give them back the freedom to go into the heart of town — taken away when traffic was heavy and the weight of cash in consumers’ pockets was heavier still.

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13 thoughts on “Wake up, ERP! S’pore’s in deep recession..

  1. Bravo! I am behind you. I have written about ERP charges to ST forum too but LTA replied that it has helped to regulate traffic. We need more people to write in!

  2. Blur, u are behind me? Hope not in the line to be zapped by another ERP, :-O

    To be honest, I support the ERP in its role to manage traffic flow but wish, indeed expect/demand that those administering it must have the cow sense to realise that when there is hardly any traffic, the ERP charges become irksome.. espeically when some gantries kick in at $2 at 7pm on a Saturday nite, for crying out loud!

    Oh sure, ERP minders will say there’s hardly any traffic precisely becos of the stiff charges and multiple gantries.

    Which begs the question, why are we investing billion$ on roads: so that we can have optimum traffic flow, not minimum! And with our claim to high tech which can measure how many cars actually run on a particular stretch of roads at any time, why can’t ERP charges be dynamic? Sigh!

  3. You’re a convincing writer, you must write to the papers! I pity the pick-up drivers, especially small business owners like contractors and plumbers, their erp charge is higher than ours.

  4. Hi Blur, I want us to break out of the dependence on ST Forum to get any official response.

    It’s time for u and me to max the power of the Internet and viral dissemination, not for an imagined grievance but of something that seems to be sending diametrically opposite signals to what certain arms of the Govt (MOF and MOM) are trying to do and in the process not only dilute goodwill for the rulers but also dilute and perhaps even negate the $20.5 bn effects.

    So, my viral fren, Blur, pse help me to publicise my grievance, yours and others against what are some dumb ERP charges!

  5. Thanks for writing this post. Looks like I’m not the only one who did what I thought was an innocent “big” u-turn, only to find myself paying another $2 to enter an area I’d paid $2 to enter by another road just a few minutes prior. And this on a saturday as well. How I cursed.

  6. Hi Philip: TQ for dropping by.. yup, the crazy thing abt the Eu Tong Sen Rd ERP gantry is that it doesn’t charge in the afternoon of a normal work day — like yesterday — but hits on a Saturday afternoon. Where got sense, if ERP is to regulate traffic flow!!

    Pse help me to spread the message that certain ERP charges don’t make sense on a Saturday, especially since the consumer/worker/business is supposed to be hurting in a once in multi-generation recession!

  7. I share your outrage. Many have written to the newspapers but the endless stream of ERP money flowing into their coffers somehow inflict on them an inability to think logically. Mr Minister is happy he’s contributing by way of revenue. LTA’s top brass is happy that their performance is first- rate. Ok, but this mindset may also contribute something- their losing a GRC.

  8. “Pse help me to spread the message that certain ERP charges don’t make sense on a Saturday, especially since the consumer/worker/business is supposed to be hurting in a once in multi-generation recession!”

    Do they care? Do they want to listen? Nope.Press them and some bureaucrat will come up with a smart-ass excuse to justify ERP on Saturdays.

  9. Losing a GRC? No lah, that’s too drastic and S’poreans aren’t that irrational. At least that’s what I hope.

  10. Don’t take such a defeatist attitude. Keep pressing but stay on the right side of the law lah. The PAP will see the light. I remember it was the Opposition who in a 1988 GE “dialogue session” (when PAP decided to minimise rallies) raising the question of roof top gardens for HDB homes and was roundly dissed. But see now? HDB has many a roof top garden. The point is: if your non-PAP idea is sound, it will take root and grow. Have patience.

  11. Pingback: Make ERP charges an election issue? « FOOD fuels me to talk…

  12. Pingback: ERP is AN election issue! « FOOD fuels me to talk…

  13. Pingback: Bye bye ERP on Saturdays? « FOOD fuels me to talk…

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