ST Oct 22, 2007[So according to Raymond, the government implemented ERP, therefore more people bought cars. Muahaha, what nonsense.]
ERP helps more S'poreans to own cars: Minister
THE use of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) has made it possible for more Singaporeans to own cars.
Responding to a question for written reply in Parliament on Monday, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said this is reflected in the growth of Singapore's car population from 680,000 in 1997 to 800,000 in 2006.
Dr Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC, had asked the Minister if the ERP scheme has met the objectives that it was meant to achieve and if it has improved the traffic flow on expressways especially during peak hours.Read that again. Slowly. What Raymond is really saying is that since ERP was implemented in 1998, average travel speeds on priced roads have stayed the same. Despite regular increases in ERP charges and the number of ERP gantries, there has been no improvement whatsoever in the average travel speed.
In his reply, Mr Lim said since its implementation in 1998, ERP has been effective in maintaining average travel speeds on priced roads within the optimal speed range through regular reviews and rate adjustments. For example, average speeds on the expressways have remained at above 45km/h during peak hours.
"The use of ERP to manage traffic has made it possible for more Singaporeans to own cars than we otherwise could, and our vehicle population has grown from 680,000 in 1997 to 800,000 in 2006," he added.So instead of paying more money to own a vehicle, you pay more money to use it. Is that a real difference? The last time I checked, money is money - even if the government modifies the way it takes the money from you.
"It has also allowed the Government to rely more on car usage charges and less on car ownership taxes to manage traffic demand, and as a result, vehicle ownership taxes have been reduced."
Incidentally the increase from 680,000 to 800,000 cars over nine years works out to a per annum rate of less than 2 per cent. This is probably a lot lower than the growth of Singapore's resident population over the same period (don't forget the huge increase in the number of foreigners coming to work and live in Singapore, over that period).
That's actually quite positive news, from the environmental perspective.