The Straits Times team apparently tested out the routes with the newly raised ERP rates and found that the road conditions are pretty decent. However, they also concede that the increased rates can only do this much for now – that Singaporeans will soon get over with the raised charges and continue jamming the roads.

The only recourse left seems to be the coming school holidays, which should reduce traffic by a fair bit considering that parents no longer have to drive their children to school that early. Apparently, traffic conditions seem to improve during school holidays. Likewise, ERP rates are expected to be reduced… but judging from the time of the next review, this is quite unlikely to happen.

People interviewed seem to share the same problem as me: remembering combinations of roads to avoid jams and dysfunctional ERPs…

CTE, PIE, KPE, ECP.

For the longest time, these expressway initials have flashed past Miss Q. Tian, 24, as she drives to work.

The banker, who lives in Thomson Road and works at Suntec City, has been taking this longer route to avoid the chronic morning Central Expressway (CTE) jams.

She is on the CTE briefly after leaving her home, instead of using it all the way.

Another motorist arranges meetings after 10am and a third gets to work way before the morning jam.

Motorists like them stay clear of the congestion and charges on Singapore’s most expensive stretch.

In a move to ease the morning congestion, CTE charges hit a record high of $5 from Monday for motorists entering it via the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) slip road near Mar Thoma Road between 8.30am and 9am.

The Straits Times got onto the CTE via that slip road on Friday morning. It found the higher charges may have – for now, at least – eased the volume of traffic.

Several trips down the CTE from the PIE slip road (westbound) near Mar Thoma Road at half-hour intervals from 7.30am to 10am found traffic mostly smooth flowing.

The Straits Times was able to drive the 7km stretch to Havelock Road at speeds of between 60kmh and 70kmh and complete the journey in six minutes, except between 9am and 9.30am.

During that period, driving speed fell to just below 60kmh and the journey took seven minutes.

A check with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) real-time traffic monitoring map found that speeds never fell below 40kmh and were mostly above 60kmh during the morning rush hour on the CTE.

It is not known if there were fewer motorists on Friday, which was a day after the Deepavali holiday.

In raising the CTE charges, the LTA said average traffic volumes on the expressway have grown steadily from 2001 to last year.

It wants to keep traffic speeds during peak hours within the optimum range – 45kmh to 65kmh.

But Miss Tian, the banker who leaves for work at Suntec City before 8am, doubts the $5 charge will work after some time.

She said her route ‘may seem convoluted but it saves me half the time. Taking the CTE will take me about half an hour, but using the other expressways takes me 15 minutes in total’.

But Miss Tina Ho, 27, a financial consultant who travels before 9am to her work place in Tanjong Pagar, will stick to the CTE.

‘I will pay if it means I can get to work faster,’ said the Serangoon North Avenue 1 resident.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 9th November 2007



Reader's Comments

  1. spyer | November 10th, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Come on, come on, how can the ST team compare to the scholarly team at LTA. ST team wants to get the maximum mileage with the least money used. The scholarly team wants to get the maximum profits from the investment made. Yes, ERP gantries and roads are investment to LTA.

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