The new system will be based on global navigation satellite system, and could be in place by 2020, the Land Transport Authority says. Potentially affected by the move: Off-Peak Cars and paper parking coupons.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday (Oct 1) called a tender to develop a next-generation electronic road pricing (ERP) system, based on global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technology.
In a press release, LTA said it had conducted an 18-month System Evaluation Test, which concluded in December 2012. The new system will overcome the constraints of physical gantries, which are costly and take up land space, the LTA said. Also, the existing system is almost 20 years old and will become increasingly expensive and difficult to maintain, it added.
The new GNSS-based system will allow for distance-based pricing along congested roads where road pricing is to be implemented. This pricing method is more "equitable" as motorists will be charged proportionate to the distance travelled on congested roads, the authorities said.
ON-BOARD UNIT THAT SUPPORTS COUPONLESS PARKING
Motorists can also look forward to an "interactive and intelligent" On-Board Unit that will replace their In-Vehicle Unit (IU). These units can support a range of value-added services such as real-time traffic information tailored to location and electronic payment for parking, instead of the current paper coupons, LTA said.
According to transport analysts, this may not necessarily lead to an increase in costs for motorists. Said Adjunct Associate Professor Gopinath Menon from Nanyang Technological University's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering: "It depends on how you price the system. For example, when we started the system from paper to the first ERP, it was cheaper during the first few years. So, that is up to LTA to decide."
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