Monday, August 18, 2008

LTA To Review ERP Rates For Gantries Around Singapore River

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 18 August 2008

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will review the rates for the five Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries around the Singapore River in October – a month ahead of its usual quarterly review.

The move came in response to recent feedback that businesses in nearby Chinatown have seen a slump in sales since the ERP charges were introduced in July.

The LTA met with the Chinatown Business Association on Monday as part of its ongoing engagement with stakeholders affected by ERP implementation. The authority said it will adjust the ERP rates from early October if traffic conditions warrant it.

Senior Minister of State for Transport, Mrs Lim Hwee Hwa, said that the new gantries are meant to ensure that businesses benefit from smooth-flowing traffic in the long term.

She cautioned that reducing ERP charges will not be able to address any underlying weaknesses in consumer demand or economic conditions.

Mrs Lim said: "What we hope to do is to make sure that the ERP rates are pegged at the appropriate level that will ensure that patrons and users of the area will not be prevented from coming in simply because of congestion.

"There are also some issues with regard to public education. A lot of people, including the operators themselves, thought that the ERP hours are operational on Saturdays as well, which is not the case.

"That is something which LTA can look into to see how it can publicise this more widely so as to help the businesses in the area." - CNA/so

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