Toll collection for inner-city cars seen from stories in Singapore and Korea

Toll collection for inner-city cars seen from stories in Singapore and Korea 0

(Dan Tri) – Collecting tolls for cars entering the city center is not a new thing in the world, but the conditions for implementation as well as the actual effectiveness of this measure are still controversial.

An electronic road toll station (ERP) in Singapore (Photo: Today).

In 1975, Singapore became the first country in the world to charge inner city fees to reduce traffic congestion and encourage people to switch to using public transportation.

ALS was implemented after a year of gathering public input.

Initially, ALS application time is 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. daily, except Sundays and holidays.

During the first few years after the introduction of ALS, passenger cars of 4 or more people, taxis, public buses and service vehicles were allowed to enter the `Restricted Zone` without charge.

A total of 28 overhead gantries with `Restricted Zone` signs have been set up on roads around this area.

Although simple, the ALS system has proven effective.

The success of ALS led the World Bank to sponsor studies on the feasibility of applying a similar system in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Bangkok (Thailand).

By 1998, Singapore stopped applying ALS and switched to an automatic toll collection system called `Electronic Road Pricing` (Electronic Road Pricing, ERP) after 10 years of research and testing.

This system includes suspended gantries equipped with sensors and cameras to automatically identify vehicles, through connection to a device installed on every vehicle in Singapore.

`Of all the different measures to tackle congestion, ERP is the only one that directly addresses the problem by requiring individuals to consider the damage they cause to others when driving.`

The ERP system has also been applied by some major cities in the world such as London (UK) since 2003, Stockholm (Sweden) since 2007, Dubai (UAE) since 2007, Milan (Italy) since 2008.

In addition, the actual effectiveness of ERP is still controversial as research shows that congestion does not disappear but only changes in location and time.

Toll collection for inner-city cars seen from stories in Singapore and Korea

A large avenue in Seoul, South Korea during the 2021 New Year holiday (Photo: Yonhap).

In the Korean capital Seoul, the government has applied `congestion fees` on two arterial roads leading to the center, Namsan Tunnel 1 and Namsan Tunnel 3, since 1996. This measure is part of the overall strategy.

These two tunnels have been famous for their high density of private vehicles for many years.

The fee is 2,000 won (1.5-1.6 USD) for vehicles carrying 2 or less people (including the driver), in both directions through the tunnel.

According to studies by the Seoul Institute in 2012, traffic volume on roads connecting Namsan Tunnel 1 and 3 decreased by 24.2% a month after the introduction of congestion tolls, after which the decrease gradually decreased.

There have been concerns that the toll will cause congestion elsewhere as people choose to take detours.

One of the most important results from congestion charging is that cars with only 1 or 2 people in them no longer use the tunnel, or start carrying more people.

However, strong economic growth in the 2000s led to increasing traffic demand, leading to increasingly serious traffic congestion and air pollution in the city.

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