The Land Transport Authority (LTA) had announced earlier today (8 September) the Government’s plan to replace the existing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system with a next-generation ERP (nexgen ERP) system that leverages Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
According to the press statement by LTA, it will be replacing the bulky gantries on the roads in Singapore, as well as incorporating services such as traffic information.
Despite the replacement and upgrade of the technology and system, it was reported that the way congestion pricing is being levied today will not change.
Instead of the current in-vehicle unit (IU), the new ERP system will use a new on-board unit (OBU) that is able to provide additional information like real-time traffic updates. The OBU can also provide locations of nearby School Zones and Silver Zones.
“The nexgen ERP system will use a new on-board unit (OBU) instead of the current in-vehicle unit (IU). Besides providing information on ERP charging locations and rates, the OBU will provide additional information such as real-time road traffic updates, and locations of nearby School Zones and Silver Zones to alert motorists to look out for more vulnerable road users.”
For the existing Singapore-registered vehicles, the first OBU will be installed for free. The installation will begin in the second half of 2021 and it will take place for 18 months.
“The first OBU will be installed free of charge for existing Singapore-registered vehicles. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains, the installation exercise will commence in the second half of 2021 and take place over a period of 18 months.”
The new OBU will have two designs for motorcycles and other vehicles. The motorcycles will a single-piece unit, whereas the other types of vehicles will have an antenna, processing unit and touchscreen.
As Singapore switches to the nexgen ERP system in mid-2023, the statement revealed that the existing cordon-based and point-based congestion pricing framework will remain. The rates will be reviewed based on traffic speeds and congestion levels.
“The existing cordon-based and point-based congestion pricing framework will remain when we switch over to the nexgen ERP system in mid-2023. ERP rates will continue to be reviewed based on traffic speeds and congestion levels. ERP charging locations will also be clearly indicated, just like now, but with smaller and slimmer gantries.”
Lastly, the LTA mentioned that nexgen ERP will collect anonymised or aggregated data from users for “traffic management” and “transport planning purposes”.
“Like all GNSS, GPS and payment systems, nexgen ERP will collect data from users. LTA will only use anonymised or aggregated data for traffic management and transport planning purposes.”
“Vehicle-specific data will be used only for payment, charges and enforcement, such as against non-payment of ERP charges. Summons related to such non-payments will largely be auto-generated, like today. To prevent unauthorised access and improper use of the data, there will be robust security and strict safeguards in place, including penalties under the Public Service (Governance) Act.”