No Distance Charging Will Be Imposed on Road Users
Singapore will be changing to the new Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system. The change is set to take place halfway through 2023.
The ERP system alone will not be changing. The change is only that no more big gantries will be required. The other change is that the current in-vehicle units will be replaced.
For now, there are no plans to impose distance charging for motorists (charges based on how far they drive). The new onboard unit (OBU) will be installed will start in the second half of next year. The new OBU will replace the current in-vehicle units. All installations will be free.
The initial plan was for the OBUs to be installed this year. However, the plans were delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, the new installations will commence next year. It will be carried out over 18-months.
With the new ERP system in Singapore, there will be clear indications signalling which locations motorists will be charged. The new system will introduce more features. These include information about charging locations and their rates, nearby school zones, Silver Zones, and real-time traffic updates.
For those who own classic or vintage cars, they will be given the option to choose whether to install an OBU or not. However, if they chose not to, usage restrictions will apply. There will also be a separate congestion fee.
The Compatibility of ERP System
The new OBUs will be compatible with the existing ERP system in Singapore. Payments like EZ-Link cards, Net FlashPay, debit, and credit cards can still be used. Motorists can also feel happy knowing their privacy is safeguarded with the new system.
Singapore does have plans for a gantry-less ERP system using satellite. This will enable motorists to be charged based on the distance covered. NCS and MHI Engine System were awarded the contact in 2016 by the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA). It is time that Singapore began moving away from card-based payments. With the new ERP system in Singapore leveraging on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), the doors are open for more opportunities once the system is stabilised.