Everyday Rob People (ERP)

My buddy Tucky was livid. It takes a lot to stir an ounce of anger out from him. When we were in secondary, he always played the rational, Mr Cool role. Whenever some of us hot blooded teens got a little heated up the brain, he would be the balancing force to instill sanity (as if we had any) back. Tucky's view on the government has been neutral all these years. He calls a spade a spade and nothing more, thus his rationality allows him to give credit to the government when it is due and cynicism when they screw up.

The problem with Singapore is that the government will never be wrong, which is technically impossible. All humans err, not to mention governments. The PAP however, refuses to admit their mistakes every single time, powered by their personal propaganda mouth piece to shift minds. This fact itself riles citizens who care about their homeland and want to make it a better place. It comes to a point where the majority of the citizens, which the PAP calls the 'silent majority' become apathetic of important issues that affect the lives of their future generations.

We were told that we will be getting 3 more new ERP gantries along AYE by next year. This affects every single one of us whether we own a car or not. Our food caterers, couriers, taxis, ambulances, school buses ... practically all sources of logistic that have a direct impact on our lives will soon bear higher cost of operation, which they in turn charge it to - no prize for guessing. So if you think that ERP has nothing to do with your life, I congratulate you for being blissful.

The initial purpose of the ERP was not a bad idea. Studies revealed we loses millions of dollars a day because commuters could not get to the city, where the highest concentration of the workforce was, fast enough. So the ERP was conceptualise and it was meant to keep crucial way points free from congestion so that traffic could be diverted to other roads. Diversion as the purpose was then forgotten. It evolved to exclusion and the CBD area soon became a monetary siege during the peak hours. Peak hours were then redefined again and again. Commuters on the CTE for example, have to pay toll on the way home till late nights. 

The LTA explained that these tough measures were put in place because of chronic congestion in the CBD and hoped to encourage road users to avoid the expressways whenever possible, especially during the peak hours. Later on, road users who have been faithfully complying by keeping themselves out from the highways  saw that ERP gantries have, too, been set up at lower category roads at the heartlands, such as Upper Bukit Timah and Toa Payoh. The roads remained congested. Till today, the LTA did not address why have ERP gantries not ease road congestion as promised. The COE system was set up to regulate the number of vehicle licence in the market. If we have kept our vehicle counts on the road stable despite of the ballooning population, why is traffic congestion in Singapore getting worse? Which policy is not working? The COE or the ERP? Has the direction of the ERP changed from a traffic regulator to a cash milking system for the government?

It seems that we will never get a satisfactory answer from the authorities. They might as well go all out blatant and implement some of the below examples;

Electronic Rail Pricing

Causeway ERP to give our neighbouring brothers and sisters some love

As well as exotic foreigners

Never a place too inappropriate

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