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S$556m next-gen ERP system up from 2020

Tender won by consortium of Singtel unit NCS and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System Asia

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THE next-generation electronic road pricing (ERP) system will be operational from 2020 at a cost S$556 million.

Singapore

THE next-generation electronic road pricing (ERP) system will be operational from 2020 at a cost S$556 million.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Thursday that it has awarded the tender to develop the system, based on Global Navigation Satellite System technology, to the consortium of NCS Pte Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System Asia Pte Ltd. NCS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Singtel Group.

The tender attracted bids from three consortia.

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The next-generation ERP system will replace the current system, which is more than 17 years old and faces obsolescence without a costly upgrade. The new system offers more flexibility in managing traffic congestion through distance-based road-pricing without the need for physical gantries.

Motorists will be charged according to the distance travelled on congested roads, which the LTA said will be fairer to users.

Because the high-tech system harnesses satellite tracking and the 4G cellular network, it can also collect and disseminate traffic information, manage automatic payments for Off Peak Car use, paperless roadside parking and the payment of checkpoint tolls for local motorists.

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said: "Since its introduction, the road pricing system has been effective in managing traffic congestion. The next-generation road pricing system will enable us to improve on this, with greater flexibility."

With the new system, the current In-Vehicle Unit (IU) will be replaced by a smartphone-sized On-Board Unit (OBU), the final design of which is still being worked out; the OBU will have a bigger display.

It will take a Cepas stored-value card but also allow for backend payment methods such as credit or debit cards and Giro.

The government will bear the one-time IU replacement costs for Singapore-registered vehicles.

To ensure a seamless transition between the old and new systems, the LTA is planning for an 18-month switchover period; the new system is expected to be implemented progressively from 2020.

Mr Chew said the road pricing policy will remain the same during the changeover.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System Asia developed and implemented the current ERP system in 1998, and NCS has been maintaining it. Together, they submitted a proposal with the highest quality score and lowest bid price among the three participating consortia, said the LTA.

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