I cannot help but feel sorry for drivers especially taxi drivers when I read the report on more ERP gantries and higher rates.
With the latest addition along Singapore River and higher charges for ERP along CBD areas and Orchard Road, I doubt taxi drivers would want to drive into these areas to pick up passengers. This will of course cause a decrease in business tremendously. Although this is not the first time and most taxi drivers had probably gotten used to it but still it is a consideration when one wants to drive into these areas.
This increase could not have come at a worse time given the increase in fuel prices as well as inflation. Driving has become so confusing for drivers. Many of them could have lost track of changes and charges. Help is on the way according to this report, but what about the illiterate? People who knows nothing about surfing the net? Most taxi-drivers fall into this group of people.
Previously, taxi-drivers were encouraged to drive into CBD areas with the additional $3 surcharge. This had somehow become redundant with this new implementation. In other words the new ERP charges had made the just 'Improved system' back-fire.
Singaporeans had always been encouraged to take public transport. Aren't taxis public transport? Why make it so difficult for this group of Singaporeans to make a living?
The implementation of ERP was to smoothen traffic congestion. Increasing car population is one factor, what about other factors such as repeated road works, trees pruning, etc... As a passenger onboard a bus, I often find road works in progress along the same stretch of road. Am I the only one noticing this?
Singapore is one country that makes car ownership exorbitant and is also the first city in the world to implement an electronic road toll collection system. The objective is to control car population. Policies such as COE (Certificate of Entitlement), VQS (Vehicle Quota System) and ERP (Electronic Road Pricing), were introduced to manage car ownership and usage.
Some of you may have forgotten what VQS is, according to the LTA website, VQS was implemented in 1990. Under this system, LTA determines the number of new vehicles allowed for registration while the market determines the price of owning a vehicle. Since VQS was a system to determine the no. of cars allowed to be registered, why are we constantly facing the problem of over-whelming car ownership?
Lastly, why is it that after implementation of VQS, COE and repeated adjustments of the ERP, we are still not able to solve the problem of traffic congestion?