I have a love-hate relationship with the electronic road pricing (ERP) system in Singapore. On one hand, I understand its purpose in easing rush hour traffic jams. On the other… I really, really hate paying for it. So much so my husband likes to tell people that when he hears the IU beep, it’s like listening to the sound of (my) heart breaking.
For the $0.50 kind – never mind, sua. But during super peak hours, some ERPs (for cars) can be as expensive as $6, which drives me nuts!
As most drivers would know, the ERP rates and charges are reviewed every quarter, and usually adjusted during the June and December school holidays. The ERP prices were recently updated in May 2019, seeing 2 gantries with increased tolls, and about 20 gantries having their tolls reduced or removed.
INTRODUCTION TO THE ERP SYSTEM
Before we get into the ERP rates, this section is for those who don’t know what ERP is. ERP is actually a toll that was implemented to ease congestion. The logic is simple: By charging a fee to drive on the roads, drivers are deterred and more incentivised to take alternative routes and/or drive during off-peak hours.
According to LTA, Singapore is “first city in the world to manage road congestion by implementing an ERP system”.
How much the ERP rates are depends on what vehicle you’re driving and what time you pass the gantry. As mentioned, rates are reviewed every quarter. It is adjusted to achieve an optimal speed range of 20 to 30 km/h on small roads and 45 to 65 km/h on expressways.
CHANGES IN ERP RATES FOR JUNE 2019
Now that everyone’s up to speed, let’s look at the most recent changes in ERP rates.
|Expressway & road||Time||Revised ERP rate|
|CTE – Central Expressway|
|Before Braddell Road||7am to 7.30am||Free (previously $1)|
|Before Braddell Road||8.30am to 9am||Increased to $2|
|After Braddell Road||7am to 7.30am||Reduced to $1|
|After Braddell Road||7.30am to 8am||Reduced to $2|
|Slip road to PIE||7am to 7.30am||Reduced to $1|
|Slip road to PIE||7.30am to 8am||Reduced to $2|
|PIE – Pan-Island Expressway|
|After Adam Road Exit||7.30am to 8am||Reduced to $1|
|Mount Pleasant||7.30am to 8am||Reduced to $1|
|Bendemeer Road||7.30am to 9.30am||Free (previously $0.50)|
|Woodsville Tunnel||7.30am to 9.30am||Free (previously $0.50)|
|AYE – Ayer Rajah Expressway|
|After Jurong Town Hall (towards City, total 3 gantries)||6pm to 6.30pm||Reduced to $1|
|KPE – Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway|
|After Defu Flyover||8am to 9am||Increased to $4|
|ECP – East Coast Parkway|
|ECP to City||8am to 8.30am||Free (previously $1)|
|Before exit to KPE||8am to 8.30am||Free (previously $1)|
|MCE – Marina Coastal Expressway|
|Westbound before exit to Maxwell Road||8am to 8.30am||Reduced to $1|
|Westbound exit to Marina Coastal Drive||8am to 8.30am||Reduced to $1|
|Kallang Road||8.30am to 9am||Free (previously $0.50)|
|Thomson Road||7.30am to 8am||Free (previously $0.50)|
|8am to 8.30am||Reduced to $1|
For this month, most gantries were reduced by $0.50 to $1 as traffic’s expected to be lighter than usual, thanks to the June school holidays. Some gantries on CTE, PIE and ECP have are even free for certain time slots.
Do note, however, that these lowered rates are only valid from 1 June until the 30 June before they revert to normal.
For the two gantries that had their tolls increased by a dollar (CTE, before Braddell Road from 8.30am to 9am & KPE, after Defu Flyover from 8am to 9am), the change was effective since 6 May 2019 and will stay in place until the next review in August 2019 .
If you have specific ERP gantries along your usual routes that you want to check, you can see the exhaustive list of ERP rates at One.Motoring.
TOP 3 MOST EXPENSIVE ERP GANTRIES & OPERATING HOURS ($4 AND UP)
|Expressway & road||Time||ERP rate|
|PIE into CTE||8.05am to 8.30am||$4|
|8.30 to 8.35am||$5|
|8.35 to 8.55am||$6|
|CTE, from Balestier Road||8.05 to 8.30am||$4|
|8.30 to 8.35am||$5|
|8.35 to 8.55am||$6|
|KPE Southbound, after Defu Flyover||8.05 to 8.55am||$4|
These 3 ERP gantries are the only ones that charge over $4, but only in the morning. The other gantries are between $0.50 to $3.
As you can see, the rates gradually increase and decrease, so the only way to “siam” is to either take another route or drive through it one to two hours before or after the ERP operating hours.
Typically, ERP rates are higher from 8am to 9am, because that’s when most of Singapore is driving to work. Do note that these rates are for cars only. Higher/lower rates are expected for bigger vehicles and motorcycles respectively.
For your reference, here are the links to the latest ERP rates for cars:
ERP FINES & “ADMINISTRATIVE FEE” ($10 TO $70)
Perhaps your cashcard ran out of money, or your IU is faulty. Whatever the case, if you drive through the ERP toll gate and money doesn’t get deducted, it is a violation of traffic rules.
Technically, failing to pay is only an offence if you fail to make payment within 2 weeks, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be penalised. After missing payment, you will receive a reminder in the mail asking you to O$P$. You will have to pay the ERP rate + $10 administrative fee. If you make payment online via the following channels, the admin fee is reduced to $8:
- LTA’s ONE.MOTORING website
- AXS stations
- Self-service Automated Machines (SAMs) at post offices
- Automated teller machines (ATM)
- Internet banking services
The 2-week deadline is pretty damn strict, so make sure you don’t miss it. If you do, prepare to get slapped with a $70 fine + a Notice of Traffic Offence. If after 28 days you still don’t want to pay, the matter will be referred to court.
ERP FINE APPEAL TIPS
Unlike speeding and parking offences that force drivers to come up with tragic sob stories, it seems that it’s quite easy to appeal for your ERP fine to be waived. In fact, forumers actually recommend you skip the grandfather stories – just write in to LTA and ask for a waiver.
Apparently, many drivers have appealed more than once and successfully got their fines waived multiple times. However, this seems to be the case only for the “admin fee” fine, which is reasonable. If you “tio saman” and still refuse to pay within 2 weeks, then you really deserve the $70 fine lah.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.
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