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78 I N T E R N AT I O N A L P E R S P E C T I V E S O N R O A D P R I C I N G ers will have two charging options. The first is the auto- above. Two, in Gothenburg and Copenhagen, involve matic charging option, which is for vehicles equipped small field trials coupled with attitudinal and behavioral with an onboard unit. This automatic electronic system research into the likely impacts and acceptability of dif- can be located exactly by satellite and continually trans- ferent road pricing schemes. One, in Helsinki, involves mits the position of the vehicle, the company and vehicle only desk-based and attitudinal research into alternatives. data, and the kilometers traveled on charged roads to a The other two are access control schemes in Genoa and central computer. An automatic procedure then charges Rome, to which charges might be added. In Rome, some the toll in arrears to a preselected payment partner. The classes of drivers already pay for access permits, and so a second option is the manual prebooking system. The simple form of road pricing already exists (Tomassini manual procedure requires that the driver or the vehicle's 2002). These are of interest, since the widespread use of owner stipulate a route in advance and "buy" the route at access controls in Italian cities, with only vehicles that one of the toll terminals or via the Internet before the have been allocated permits allowed to enter, has been journey. seen as an alternative to charging as a means of control- ling car use and has had some success (Topp and Pharoah 1994). The current proposals envisage drivers allocated Other European Developments permits (because they are residents or have business premises in the area) still being able to enter free of The European Commission has conducted research over charge, but with others being able to pay to do so, thus several years into marginal cost pricing and its applica- making more efficient use of the road space. The technol- tion to policy [Nash and Matthews (2001) give an ogy is in place to check permits automatically and to iden- overview]. Its 2001 transport policy sets out clearly its tify those who have paid to enter. aspirations for a more effective pricing policy for all Without exception, these pilots have taken longer to transport (Commission of the European Community implement than had been anticipated when the research 2001) and indicates the principles to be adopted for program was developed in 2000. In all cases, political transport infrastructure charging. In particular, it pro- uncertainty reinforced by critical public opinion surveys motes equal treatment of all operators and modes, has been the main barrier to progress, although in one or argues for charges that internalize external costs, and two cases problems with new technology have also states that charging revenues should be channeled into delayed implementation. Paradoxically, only the London specific national or regional funds to finance measures scheme, which was not part of PROGRESS, and to a that themselves reduce external costs. By these means, it lesser extent the Norwegian toll rings that predated it will argues, a double dividend is obtained. However, the provide real evidence to other European governments of commission is limited in the extent to which it can influ- the benefits of urban road pricing. ence the decisions of individual member states. It is able to assess the acceptability, from a European perspective, of proposed changes in charging structures (and is cur- Singapore rently reviewing the United Kingdom's plans for distance-based charging for commercial vehicles), but it Given the limited land space, the Singapore government can only encourage governments to introduce charges in has foreseen the possible severe impact of traffic con- the first place. It notes that the proposals leave each gestion on the development of the country (Foo 2000). member state wide scope in terms of implementation The government has been trying to control the level of while offering a common methodology for setting price car traffic in the network through various generations levels. At a more detailed level, a new European directive and combinations of pricing measures over the past 30 on interurban freight charging was released in 1999 years. Two means of controlling car travel demand have (Commission of the European Community 1999), which been adopted: the control of vehicle ownership and the aims to revise the current Eurovignette system. Several restraint of vehicle usage. countries have been considering the possibility of a more A tax was imposed on new vehicle registrations in advanced interurban HGV charging system, including 1972, and tax rates were subsequently increased as a Germany (as mentioned earlier) and Switzerland. means of controlling ownership. However, there was One of the commission's main tools for providing concern that the tax was inflexible and that it was not encouragement is demonstration projects, and two imposing sufficient control. In 1990 the government related research projects in its Fifth Framework research introduced a unique form of vehicle ownership control, program involve the implementation of demonstration the vehicle quota system (VQS), in which a quota for projects (PROGRESS) and their evaluation (CUPID) new vehicles in any month is determined to match an (Baker 2002). Among these eight demonstration projects, approved overall growth rate of 3% per year and the Bristol, Edinburgh, and Trondheim have been mentioned payment is determined by a bidding system. After the
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O N E S T E P F O RWA R D , T W O S T E P S B A C K ? 79 implementation of the VQS, the average annual motor ual operation of both systems was too labor intensive and growth rate was decreased to around 2.83% from not flexible enough to permit future modification. 4.4%. The VQS also generated a substantial amount of In 1998 the electronic road pricing system (ERP) was revenue for the government (around $1.8 billion in implemented. The ERP cordon covered an area similar 1994 alone). to the original RZ of the ALS. However, the charge is Although additional taxes had been in place since imposed on a per crossing basis, which is different from 1972, the Singapore government was not satisfied with the original operation of ALS. An incomplete second cor- the effectiveness of this measure in curbing congestion. don has since been implemented. The ERP charge rates In 1975 Singapore introduced the world's first urban are set on the basis of type of vehicle (including motor- road pricing scheme, the area licensing scheme (ALS), to cycles). The charges are also differentiated according to increase the incentive for car users to switch to public location of crossing, day, and time of day. The road transport. The original ALS was a single cordon cover- authority in Singapore reviews speeds quarterly on the ing the central business district (CBD) of Singapore, expressways and roads where the ERP is in operation. called the restricted zone (RZ). Under the ALS, a permit After the review, the ERP rates are adjusted to maintain had to be purchased to travel into the RZ by car during average traffic speed on expressways and roads inside peak traffic periods, with exemptions for those with four the RZ at 45 to 65 kilometers per hour and 20 to 30 or more people (Holland and Watson 1978). Enforce- kilometers per hour, respectively. ment was based on manual operation by police person- Immediately after the implementation of the ERP, nel located at each of the entry points. The morning peak traffic volume on the heavily congested roads fell by car traffic volume entering the RZ in 1992 was approxi- 17% from the condition during the operation of ALS. mately one-half the level 17 years earlier, before the ALS Traffic volume into the CBD decreased by 10% to 15% was introduced. Speeds had increased by 20%, and acci- compared with the condition during the ALS operation dents had fallen by 25% (Menon 2000). Public trans- (Chin 2002). The ERP has been effective in maintaining port's share of working trips increased from 33% in a speed range of 45 to 65 kilometers per hour for 1974 to 67% in 1992. expressways and 20 to 30 kilometers per hour for major Initially, the charge structure was simply a flat rate roads as intended. The estimated monthly revenue from charge of S$3 for traveling inside the RZ in the a.m. peak the system is S$3.4 million, which is substantially lower period (7:30 to 9:30 a.m.) on Monday through Saturday. than the revenue collected from the old ALS and RPS However, 3 weeks later the charging hours were extended schemes, about S$5.8 million per month (Goh 2002). until 10:15 a.m. in response to the substantial increase in The change of the fundamental principle of charging traffic volume entering the RZ just after 9:30 a.m. (Chin from ALS, which allowed multiple entries for the whole 2002). The charge was then increased to S$4 and S$5 in day, to the ERP, which charges per crossing, is the rea- 1976 and 1980, respectively. Gradually, the structure of son for the significant drop in demand despite the lower the charge and the charging period were modified to charge rates. increase the effectiveness of the scheme. In 1989 the The Singapore government has adopted a "stick and charge period was extended into the p.m. peak (4:30 to carrot" policy under which a substantial amount of 7:00 p.m.) with a charge level of S$3. The charge period money has been invested in improving the public trans- was extended again to the whole day from Monday port system. After gaining sufficient revenues from ALS, through Friday in 1994 with the same charge level of S$3. in 1988 the government decided to develop the Mass The ALS was considered successful, and it was claimed Rapid Transit, which is the network of heavy rail, and that there were no significant impacts on businesses inside later a light rail network (initiated in 1999). The devel- the RZ (Seik 1998). opment of public transport has enhanced its modal Nevertheless, the original ALS also had unintended share, which increased from 46% to 70% of all journey- adverse effects such as congestion on feeder roads and to-work trips to the CBD between 1976 and 1991. The expressways leading to the CBD (Goh 2002). The gov- Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) plans to ernment decided to introduce the road pricing scheme modify the charging area and charge levels to achieve (RPS) to regulate traffic on the expressways and feeder better utilization of the road network while maintaining roads in 1995. The RPS (manually operated) was imple- an acceptable level of service. Although there has been a mented on the three main expressways heading into the wide range of well-documented papers on the success CBD with congestion tolls to pass defined points. About and implementation path of road pricing in Singapore, 16% of motorists stopped using the expressways during there has been little discussion of public responses. The the RPS operation hours (between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.). stable political climate in Singapore has supported the However, the ALS and RPS were claimed to cause under- government and LTA in adopting an aggressive transport use of the roads within the CBD and not to be able to policy over the past three decades. Despite all the suc- deter the congestion outside the RZ. In addition, the man- cesses, questions have been asked about the extent of