Saturday, April 11, 2009

area licensing scheme (als) before erp
photos from national archives of singapore
(first day of implementation: 2 june 1975)

before the electronic road pricing (erp) came into being in 1998, we had the area licensing scheme (als). when it was first introduced in 1975, the als was in operation from 7.30 a.m. to 10.15 a.m. on weekdays. drivers of private cars had to pay $3 for a pass to enter the restricted zone during the operational hours.

however, there was one concession. if a private car carried four heads or more, it could enter the zone without paying. this also led to car-pooling, where certain points were designated for car-pool pick-up. i use the word 'heads' instead of passengers because that was what the cisco police, who were manning the gantry points, were instructed to do: count the number of heads in the car.

as usual, the smart singaporeans tried to abuse this provision. private cars were picking up bus commuters just to avoid paying the fee. some tried to pass off a mannequin as one of the 'heads'. this eventually led to the scrapping of the four passengers or more for free entry into the zone.

the cost of a licence to enter the restricted zone went up to $4 in 1976 and reached $5 in 1980. however, it came back to the original amount of $3 in 1989, when als was extended to the evening, from 4.30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

in 1995, road pricing was extended to the east coast parkway.

the east coast parkway was also first to see the introduction of the electronic road pricing. in april 1998, erp started on the ecp.

the erp system uses a dedicated short-range radio communication system to deduct erp charges from a cash card. the card is inserted in the in-vehicle unit (ius) of a vehicle before each journey.

each time, the vehicle passes through a gantry when the system is in operation, the erp charge will be automatically deducted.


Shamini said...

I had to teach abt the ALS and ERP during my social studies lesson in Feb. Will tell my classes abt the mannequin n bus commuters thingy!

yg said...

shamini, have you adjusted to the new environment?

Victor said...

I was one of those bus commuters who "took advantage" of my driver colleague. But then, I paid him a token sum for the favour and he gracefully accepted it. (It sort of made me felt less indebted to him.)

I used to wait at Guillemard Road near City Plaza - one of the "non-official designated" waiting places.

peter said...

SBSTransit was losing money because commuters switched to taking carpools. So government stopped this carpool.

I found carpool folks very choosy. When car pulls up at the head of the queue, some folks skip that car and go for the car behind or the next. The reasons? a) no a/c, b) car too small, d)want to ride new car or e) driver must drop off passenger exactly at the door step (because passenger refuse to walk a distance)

Those rear passengers usually munch sweets and leave wrappers in the cigarette box. Some passengers never thank driver (never make conversation) but give look like "you owe me a favour". Some slam car-door like "testing". Ladies use heavily scented perfume and leaves trace in car (and your gf/wife thinks you got lover). Ladies chcuk tissue on the floor mat. Some folks also don't like to sit in car driven by Indians and Sikhs.

yg said...

victor, it seems to me you were taken for a ride by your colleague. you had to pay him, albeit a token sum, for doing him a favour?
i remember helping once or twice to make up the number(of 4)for my friend/colleague to drive into the restricted zone. he was quite appreciative.

yg said...

peter, i was not aware of such happenings at carpools. but it does remind me of my hitch-hiking days in peninsula malaysia.
when i first started, i would try to stop any vehicle - car, truck or lorry. then, when we (usually with a partner) became better at it (thumbing a ride), we became choosy. we would look out for a/c cars, new cars and sports cars. those days, it was quite easy to hitch-hike from johor all the way to penang and beyond.