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|Congestion pricing scheme for Jakarta|
by Darmaningtyas and Achmad Izzul Waro, Jakarta | Sat, 06/26/2010 12:42 PM | Opinion
- copied from the Jakarta Post, June 26, 2010 -
Indonesia's Transportation Ministry officials are pressing the Jakarta administration to introduce an electronic road pricing (ERP) scheme, similar to one already in place in Singapore, to control traffic volume on urban roads.
The Singapore system has been in place since April 1998, and is managed by the local Land Transport Authority (LTA) under the Singapore's Ministry of Transportation. This congestion pricing method has been being developed there for some time.
Vehicle registration fees were first introduced in Singapore in January 1949 as an administrative charge to recover administrative processing costs.
In November 1956, the Additional Registration Fee was imposed as fiscal tool to control the growth of the number of cars on the roads. The Registration Fees were blunt ownership measures that had to be increased regularly - in tandem with the local economic and income growth - to remain effective.
In December 1975, Singapore modified these fees into the Preferential Additional Registration Fee (PARF) benefit system.
This system was introduced to encourage motorists to scrap or export their cars before the end of the 10th year of ownership. Motorists could use this benefit to offset the Additional Registration Fee of a newly registered car.
The PARF system was introduced alongside an Area Licensing System (ALS), an increase in car parking fees in the city center and an endorsement of the Park and Ride system, in May 1975.
To effectively regulate the numbers of vehicles on Singapore's roads, the Vehicle Quota System (VQS) was then introduced in May 1990.
Under this system, the number of new vehicles allowed for registration was predetermined annually, taking into account the existing traffic conditions and numbers of vehicles taken off the roads permanently each year.
Anyone who wanted to register a new car first had to bid for a certificate of entitlement (COE) at monthly public tenders. Successful bidders would pay the lowest strike price for each category.
Owners of existing vehicles would pay the prevailing quota premium, which was the average of quota premiums of the respective category, over several months.
Singapore's ERP system is part of the local Intelligent Transport System (ITS), which developed notably in 1990's. This system incorporates the application of advanced technology in electronics, communications, control and information technology to benefit and create a more efficient transportation system. It also aims at improving safety, efficiency, comfort and the environment.
The capacity of existing technology would allow Jakarta to adopt an ERP system faster than Singapore did. There are many options that could make this system more user-friendly, for example making it easier for users to understand, and efficient and convenient for users in terms of payment options.
The system also means charges reflect true user costs, consumers have several options, and it is also effective in reducing traffic congestion. Payment options could include either multiple modes of prepaid cards or cash, and should be a transparent fee that is evident before a trip is undertaken and cause minimal disruption during implementation.
The pricing system should also be a reliable and anonymous system, where privacy for users is assured, secure and enforceable. These principles are designed to ensure that if an ERP system is put in place in Jakarta, it would be sustainable and have a positive return on investment.
Darmaningtyas is the director of the Institute of Transportation Studies (Instran), Jakarta. Achmad Izzul Waro is program officer at Instran.