Now and then, I have beefed about the ERP, especially when I find myself having to pay when I didn’t expect the gantry in a particular spot to charge.
Read about it here, here and most recently here when I suggested, tongue in cheek, that we should make the sometimes quirky/whimsical charges imposed by the Government’s electronic road pricing system an election issue.
Now, believe it or not, I see that the Singapore Democratic Party — founded by Mr Chiam See Tong and hijacked by u-no-hu — has started to make a song and dance about the same subject with its post yesterday on the ERP gantries being in strange places .
Am I pleased about this?
Yes and no.
Yes, because I think the Government should be more thoughtful about the charges and the timing of the charges. While an extra — and pointless — 50 cents, $1 or even $3 isn’t going to make me cast my vote for the likes of Chee Soon Juan, what irks is that it demonstrates that some of the people managing this country aren’t close enough to the ground in grassroots matters.
(It’s like I always wonder who sited the bus stops so that they are always on the left hand side of roads so that buses often have to cut across three or four lanes because they need to make right hand turns at a road junction! Don’t the people in charge drive?)
No, because I wish the ruling party will wake up to this — about how their bureacrats are running some of the infrastructure in Singapore with potentially detrimental effects on their political masters — be4 the Opposition capitalises on this area of discontentment.
Still, with the general election at least three months away, the ruling party still has time to sweeten the ground a bit on the roads.
I suggest starting by removing all ERP charges into the CBD on Saturdays. If that’s not doable, at least scrap the afternoon charges.
Because the people going into the CBD on a Saturday to play will surely be far fewer than the number going in to work. So by any stretch of the imagination the roads won’t be as crowded as those on week-days. And ERP shouldn’t be needed to discourage congestion.
And no ERP charges on Saturdays will help somewhat to ensure that all the billion$ properties in the Marina Bay area don’t become ghost towns on week-ends.
Win-win for all except perhaps the tax collector though what he loses on ERP charges will likely — or more than likely — be recouped through GST collections. So it could be a win-win for all, with no ifs and buts 😉