Monday, August 18, 2008

Early Review Of S'pore River Line's ERP Rates

Source : AsiaOne, Mon, Aug 18, 2008

ERP rates at gantries along the Singapore River Line could be adjusted from early October onwards, following discussions today between the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Chinatown Business Association.

The review was originally supposed to take place in November 2008 to coincide with the usual quarterly review of all ERP rates.

However, LTA has said in a news release that three months (from the ERP implementation date in July 2008) would be sufficient for monitoring purposes and for motorists' driving patterns to stabilise.

LTA will announce the review results in the later part of September and adjust the ERP rates from early October onwards, if necessary.

Chinatown Business Association representatives had earlier raised concerns over the affected consumer purchases in the area. This was mainly due to public misconception that users would be charged for entering Chinatown on Saturdays. Businessmen are thus worried it might be difficult to woo patrons back into Chinatown once they have found alternatives.

However, LTA clarifies that the Saturday charging does not affect Chinatown at all. This is because the speed for roads within the Chinatown area are within optimum levels on Saturdays.

The Bugis-Marina Centre Cordon, which which operates only on Saturdays from 12.30pm to 8pm, consists of only the gantries at Eu Tong Sen Street and Fullerton Road (towards Suntec City), and the existing CBD gantries north of the Singapore River Line. This Cordon serves to manage traffic congestion in the Bugis and Marina Centre area, which had travel speeds that were not optimum before implementation in July.

According to the LTA, the gantries along the Singapore River are intended to discourage excessive through traffic within the city area for outbound trips in the evening. This would help to ensure goods and people can get to their destinations efficiently, and help businesses to remain accessible and competitive.

However, it will take into account the fact that ERP charges may have some short term impacts on businesses in its ongoing review.

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