Say goodbye to ERP 1.0, those darned, ominous, and looming structures we have all come to know and dread, and say hello to ERP 2.0!
(Photo Credit: Pulsamerica)
Yeap. Come 2020, the ERP gantry system would be defunct. The new ERP system will be full satellite, and won't be as cool as it sounds. Among other things, you'd need a new IU for this change, and this will affect you more than you think.
Where will the new ERP locations be?
Well, it only applies to congested roads, and will focus on precise spots where jams could occur. This satellite navigation technology means islandwide coverage.
What else can it do?
How about the ability to charge for the distance travelled on your car? It can also mean coupon-less street parking and automatic charging for off-peak car usage.
Another pretty useful thing would be the ability to inform all road users on real-time traffic information and help you avoid jams, determine better routes, or decide whether you should drive at all.
How can it do all this?
You'll be getting a new IU, free of charge. The new IU is smartphone-sized that communicates with a central computer system via 4G.
Hold on, so I'll be pretty much stalked 24/7..?
Yes. And no. The data collected is anonymised, and can be calibrated. It's solely to provide more efficient charging and facilitation of traffic, all you conspiracy theorists.
I'm not much of a learner. How long do I have to adapt?
There's an 18-month transition period! During that time, you can swop your IU for the new one, spread the word, and make changes to ready yourself.
How much will this cost me?
How much will a new IU and getting laser shot at from space cost you? Well, same as always. The IU is free, and you can expect no change of charges during the transition period and onwards, that is, if they decide not to go with distance charging.
LTA is looking into the option of distance charging, which bears both good and bad.
Good and bad? Elaborate!
For starters, it can mean motorists will think twice every time they leave the house. Instead of harboring the I-pawned-my-clothes-for-this-car-so-I'll-drive-my-fill mindset, they can move on to a driving-conservative mindset and pave the way to a more car-light society.
The bad? It may be a bit more costly if you're heavy on private transport, especially for cab drivers.
ERP 2.0 is years away, and we'll be seeing many new developments. Stay tuned!