The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Tim Orbos said that MMDA is eyeing on implementing the Singaporean-like congestion management scheme called the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). Orbos said that the agency is considering how it would be implemented to manage the traffic in Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa).

“The real thing is that we need to have a volume decongestion. That's what we need to do. And what will happen here is that we're going to push for probably what they have in Singapore, the ERP,” CNN reported Orbos, as saying. Orbos said that the country has been doing government to government consultation with Singapore to find an immediate solution to decrease the number of private vehicles using Edsa and encourage the use of public transportation.

While the ERP seemed to be a new proposed solution, here are three fast facts about this so-called congestion pricing:

1. The ERP is a scheme which charges motorists for a fee when using a specified road during peak hours. The system was first implemented in Singapore in 1998.

Although it was first implemented in Singapore, it was the government of Hong Kong that first used it in 1983. Singaporeans had great interests of using the system and brought it at home. Hong Kong, however, ended the use of ERP in 1985 due to public rejection. Privacy was an important concern that caused this rejection.

Singaporeans first used the ERP at its Central Business District (CBD). During its first year of implementation, travel speed within improved from 45 to 65 kilometer per hour (km/h).

2. The ERP scheme is not intended for revenues, but for congestion management.

Although it is evident that the ERP system can collect fees mainly from the payment that motorists pay to access the road, there can also be fees to be collected from violators as well. These payments, however, will have to cover for costs operation, manpower, and maintenance.

3. The ERP uses state-of-the-art technology. Orbos said that the country still needs to acquire this technology.

“There should be scientific and accurate volume count on Edsa, a collection of fee, among others,” The Manila Bulletin reported Orbos, as saying. The ERP technology employs a complicated combination of radio frequencies, imaging and smart card technologies, optical detection, and cameras and computers working in unison. All registered vehicles will also need to be installed with the Invehicle Unit (IU) wherein motorists can insert the cash card and get access to the road.

What do you think of the congestion pricing? Do you think it can help ease traffic in Metro Manila? Let us know in the comments section below.