“Please don’t add to our burdens anymore”: Netizens call out Govt on changes to ERP rates

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Tuesday (25 Aug) announced that it will increase Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) rates for three gantries, following the completion of its third review of ERP rates.

The changes will take effect starting next Monday for the gantry along Southbound Central Expressway (CTE) Auxiliary Lane to the Pan-Island Expressway (Changi) and Serangoon Road, as well as two other gantries along Northbound CTE after Pan-Island Expressway, in an effort to manage congestion during peak periods.

The ERP rates for gantry along Southbound CTE Auxiliary Lane to the Pan-Island Expressway (Changi) and Serangoon Road will go up to S$1.00 from the current zero charge for ERP rates.

As for the set of two gantries along Northbound CTE after the Pan-Island Expressway, the ERP rates will go up to S$2.00 from the current rate of S$1.00.

Meanwhile, the ERP rate for the gantry along Southbound CTE before Braddell Road will remain unchanged at S$1.00 from 8am to 9am.

Based on its monitoring from traffic conditions from early- to mid-August, LTA said that traffic speeds have remained optimal on all arterial roads and most expressways, except for some time periods on CTE.

“As more people travel to and from their workplaces, traffic volume has continued to build up during weekday peak hours. This has led to localised congestion at specific locations along the CTE during the morning and evening peak periods,” LTA explained the reason for the change of rates.

It added that it will continue to monitor traffic speeds and congestion levels closely.

Conducted once every five weeks, the outcome of ERP rate review will be announced in the last week of September this year and will take effect from 5 October this year if there are any changes to ERP rates.

Prior to this, LTA has reduced the ERP rates at most of the gantries in the island on 6 April during the circuit breaker, in which some gantries saw zero charges for the ERP rates. However, LTA resumed the rates in July.

Upon reading the LTA’s announcement on increasing ERP rates, many netizens appear unhappy with the changes in rates and expressed their discontentment on the Facebook page of Channel News Asia.

The netizens questioned the purpose of raising the ERP rates, saying that Singaporeans are now struggling to maintain their jobs and incomes during this precarious situation while hoping that the Government “do not add the burden on people anymore”.

“Dear President, PM and all ministers of Singapore, kindly understand and please don’t add burdens on us anymore. A lot of people already got pay cuts, retrenched, and also some have been jobless for months. Please review and reconsider for the gantries increase charges,” one netizen wrote.

A handful of netizens also pointed out that the ERP has lost its original intention to help ease congestion, but has instead “has become a staple of source for the Government’s revenue”.

One netizen wrote that the increase of ERP charges will only divert the congestion to the other small roads or to an earlier timing, given that some people may choose an alternative to avoid the ERP.

Meanwhile, a couple of netizens suggested the Government to encourage more people to work from home to ease the high traffic congestion on the road.

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