SINGAPORE : More electronic road pricing (or ERP) gantries will be put up and some ERP rates will be raised as part of the government's wide ranging move to ease traffic congestion.
In addition, the rate of annual vehicle growth will be moderated but road taxes will be cut.
In the last of three major announcements on changes to the land transport system, Transport Minister Raymond Lim says even as public transport is being improved, firm steps must be taken to curb excessive car travel demand.
So the incremental ERP charge will be raised from 50 cents to S$1 progressively from July.
At the same time, the ERP base charge, which is the starting charge for a new ERP gantry point, will be increased from S$1 to S$2.
The number of vehicles on the road is also set to go down.
From May 2009, the rate of annual vehicle growth will be halved - from 3 percent to 1.5 percent.
But road taxes will be reduced by 15 percent from July this year as part of the general move towards taxing based on usage, rather than ownership.
To lower the upfront cost of car ownership, the Additional Registration Fee (or ARF) will be lowered from 110 percent of the Open Market Value (or OMV) to 100 percent from March.
On the new gantries, 16 will come up in phases during the year.
On April 7, the gantries at Upper Bukit Timah Road, Toa Payoh Lorong 6, Upper Boon Keng Road, Geylang Bahru Road and Kallang Bahru Road will be switched on.
On July 7, five new gantries will run along the Singapore River line - from Clemenceau Avenue to Fullerton Road - at Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Fullerton Road.
Then on November 3, six new gantries will come up - at Commonwealth Avenue, Jalan Bukit Merah, Alexandra Road, AYE (westbound) and PIE (westbound) near Eunos and Serangoon Road.
Mr Lim explained that the ERP system has largely remained unchanged since it was introduced 10 years ago so it has to be enhanced to address current and future traffic conditions.
He made the announcements during a visit to the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway on Wednesday morning. - CNA/ch