Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's up up and away for the ERP charges!

I always believe that our public transport system is designed by people who drive and the ERP system is designed by people who drive Audis and BMWs. That is why our public transport system does not work and the ERP system is sucking us dry. "Oh come on, it's just $4! The Pain de Campagne that I take for breakfast cost more than that!". Oh yes. If the people pricing the ERP system get another pay raise, we can anticipate a $10 ERP charge.

Of course the gahmen is constantly trying to convince the people that the purpose of the ERP system is to lessen the congestion on our roads and not to earn money. Just like how the $100 levy for locals is meant to discourage them from getting into the casinos. All for the good of the people.

But in the very first place, does increasing the ERP charges work in releasing congestion? Perhaps we should first look at why are the roads congested during peak hours. Er... because everybody is on the road at the same time? But why? Because all offices and schools start at the same time! DUH! So will increasing the ERP charges lessen the congestion any way?

If increasing the ERP charges will indeed deter people from using the roads during the peak hours, does that mean we should change our life style so that we don't inconsiderately congest the roads at the same time everyday? So we should send our kids to school early so that they can squat outside locked school gates at 5am? And we should stagger our working hours to start work at 11am/2pm/3pm and go home at 8pm/9pm/10pm?

According to those people living in their little cubicles in LTA, the ERP rates are raised when speeds on a particular road fall below the optimal range, and are lowered when they fall back within optimal range. According to me, I think they should put on their sunblock lotions and take a field trip to these speeds-below-optimal-range roads.

See that whole lane occupied by roadwork for the last decade? See the other two left lanes occupied by heavy vehicles? See that left over lane occupied by slow moving aunties/uncles/P-plates?

Seriously, the gahmen has to stop thinking that money solves everything. COEs do not stop people from having cars because our public transport system cannot make it. ERP charges do not stop people from using the only roads to take them to their kids' schools and to work.

But increasing night parking charges at over 1,300 carparks from $2 to $4 does work to solve the overnight parking crunch. Because I can imagine people starting to call up their parents, "Ma, we won't be coming over for dinner anymore. Parking too expensive lah. So you take a bus over to my place, can?"

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