Singapore to Help the Philippines Solve Its Traffic Problem
What happens when the Philippines is in desperate need to solve its traffic problem?
It turns to Singapore for help, of course.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Tim Orbos said on Monday that they are planning to collaborate with the Singapore government to help solve the country’s traffic problems. The traffic problem is a continuing headache for Duterte’s government.
According to Orbos, he has met with Singapore’s Ministry of Transport several times already.
“They will help us properly manage [our transport systems] in Metro Manila and in the entire Philippines, similar to what they did in Singapore,” Orbos said.
Congestion Pricing (Electronic Road Pricing)
The government plans to implement Congestion Pricing as a good way to lessen EDSA’s traffic.
According to Orbos, the Congestion Pricing scheme will help lessen vehicle volume by 30 percent.
This system is already being used in Singapore. Known as the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) scheme, it allows vehicles to maintain an average speed of around 45-65 kph for vehicles passing the expressway.
Orbos plans to set the average speed for cars passing EDSA to 40 kph.
What is the Congestion Pricing Scheme?
“Congestion Pricing is all about volume reduction. The road is for everyone but it has to be used on certain times in certain areas depending on the demand,” Orbos explained.
The system will not use tollways like the ones used in South and Luzon expressways; instead, it will use scanners on raised platforms or stations on the road.
All cars will be equipped with an In-Vehicle Unit (IU), a rectangular device that’s pasted on the inside bottom right of the front windscreen. Once it hits the scanner, the IU will deduct the toll price from a CashCard that should be inserted in the device at all times.
The card / pass used would depend on the vehicle type and time of use when using EDSA. The scanner will note the time and distance that a vehicle has traveled, and the motorist will be billed accordingly.
Everything is Free…Except the Toll Price
Orbos clarified that the government will pay for the passes / cards and distribute it to motorists.
“Part of the discussions that we had was… the pass should be free,” said Orbos. “It should not be at the burden of our consumers or motorists.”
He also said that the Congestion Pricing scheme may only be temporary until new and alternative routes are built to lessen traffic in EDSA.
According to a study conducted by London consulting firm Credo, Singapore has one of the most cost-efficient public transport networks in the world.
It established the Land Transport Academy (LTA) in 2006, and its goal is to be a “one-stop global knowledge hub in urban transport.” The Academy takes on three key roles: Learning Enabler, Research and Public Education.
The LTA also offers “sustainable land transport planning” and a “holistic learning experience in the field of urban transport, a suite of professional programs, seminars, international conferences, study visits as well as advisory services.”
“The good thing about the Singapore model… (is) it’s a holistic approach. It starts with a behavioral concern of people,” Orbos said.
He also added that Singapore takes advantage of technology, enforcement, and education when it comes to their transportation system.