This is really an expired entry because all the gantries should be in full force by now. I wrote an entry previously about the extension of the ERP to more places in November and was wondering how effective it would be. At some point or another, I was wondering if the ERP charges could be pegged to a demand curve as did the COE with the quota system.

Till date, I was wondering if there is any mechanism that can effectively measure the prevailing speed from point A to point B before an ERP gantry. If this can be effectively done, then perhaps one novel way of pegging the ERP charges to the prevailing speed is to first measure the speed and then using the numerical speed (categoried or uncategoried) to determine the prevailing charges.

I would like to suggest the following formula to calculate a possible prevailing ERP charge:

ERP charge = $1.00 + [(X-Y)/10]*($0.50)

Seems complicated? It’s really easy. X is the value of the acceptable speed on expressways, which I believe is 40km/h. Y is the value of the current prevailing speed. So what [(X-Y)/10]*($0.50) means is that for every 10km/h that is below the acceptable speed of 40km/h, an additional $0.50 will be added to the flat ERP charge of $1.00.

Let’s take an example. Say, the current prevailing speed is 30km/h. So the prevailing ERP charge is

$1.00 + [(40-30)/10]*($0.50) = $1.00 + $0.50 = $1.50

So the next question is, how do we measure the prevailing speed? Well, if they could measure the speed of cars throttling at high speeds, they probably shouldn’t have too much problem measuring that of slower vehicles.

Honestly, I don’t think it is *the* solution, but I guess it’s something that really lets the drivers determine how much they want to pay and let them time themselves. A jam is a jam is a jam. Over time, drivers will learn to regulate their own timings. Of course, I am assuming similar behavior as I would expect in unsupervised learning, and whether it would really work depends on a lot more factors.

Hand in hand with the use of such formula could be a lower flat rate, and perhaps additional charges in steps of 5km/h or 10km/h; a longer morning/evening ERP timing since profits earnings collections from the gantries may potentially be affected – it’s a win-win situation where the government lets the people decide how much they want to pay (just like COE) while the people can stop complaining that the ERP doesn’t work (actually I am still not sure if this works).

But this *is* food for thoughts. What do you think?

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