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COE & ERP: Can we have just one?

COE & ERP Can we have just one masthead 

Chronic traffic jams are a perennial problem for many big cities. These cities' inhabitants have to put up with noise, smog and overall eyesore of rows of vehicles in gridlock. Building more roads only seems to induce more vehicles on the road.

In Singapore, we have by and large managed to avoid city-wide gridlocks to maintain relatively smooth-flowing traffic. This is due in no small part to COE and ERP. They each have a different role to play.

COE gives breathing room

How COE works and why it's essential in Singapore

The COE quota system helps to keep the overall vehicle population at levels supportable by planned public transport developments and road infrastructure. Land scarcity is the main issue-roads already take up about 12% of our total land area, compared to 14% for housing. Building more roads is not a long-term solution.

Without the COE system, more people will buy cars and this will add to congestion and pollution. More extensive road pricing would then have to be the main solution to managing traffic, leading to higher costs, especially for businesses in the Central Business District. More land would also be needed for parking spaces across the island, which would in turn mean less land for parks and public spaces.

Maintaining the COE system helps to conserve Singapore's environment, from our green spaces to better air quality, and keeps road usage costs manageable.

Fair pay with ERP

How would life be like without ERP?

The ERP follows a pay-as-you-use principle for congested roads at peak hours. This optimises our transport networks as motorists have the choice of considering alternative routes or travel times, or even change their mode of transport. It's fair as those who do not add to the public costs of congestion are not charged.

Without ERP as a congestion charge, there would be heavy traffic leading to loss of productive time and unnecessary fuel burnt for motorists. Pollution levels would also be higher and impact pedestrians and other road users. The urban environment would be a much less pleasant one.

Singapore's use of road pricing has been so successful in easing the gridlock on heavily-used roads that it serves as a benchmark for cities like London and Stockholm.

A two-pronged approach

The COE and ERP systems work in tandem to ensure smoother traffic flow and a more pleasant environment for all residents in Singapore. Having the COE keeps overall demand for road space under control, while ERP reduces traffic jams. Together, they offer an effective traffic management strategy.

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