Road pricing involves applying charges to road users for a couple of reasons such as discouraging certain classes of vehicles, congestion, and or to raise revenue used for road maintenance. Road pricing is arguably efficient in reference to use of a certain class of vehicles…
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For example, the electronic road pricing (ERP) system adopted in Hong Kong to manage traffic through congestion charges.
Hong Kong pioneered use of ERP in the 1980s with great success. With few advancements in technology in the 1980s, ERP was implemented through use of an in-pavement reader and a transponder that was placed under vehicles. Adoption of ERP in Hong Kong solved the problem of congestions and charge evasion that faced manual road pricing. However, soon after adoption of ERP followed its critics thereby derailing advancements and over the years the project remained dormant until later propositions on its use rose again later. This was attributed to the fears that traffic problems would rise again in the Central and Wan Chai areas of Hong Kong. Therefore, the roads and transport administration made the recommendations for ERP system to resume operations. However, with time a new administration that was opposed to use of ERP took over thereby derailing ERP system once again.
ERP is mainly applied in areas where there are high congestion levels and there is a functional public means of transport in existence. Existence of a public means of transport is to offer an alternative to road users who abandon use of personal vehicles. Therefore, ERP may arguably be considered a method of encouraging use of public means of transport as opposed to individual transport means. Efficiency of ERP depends heavily on its application to only areas with high traffic levels and a functional public means of transport since its application in many areas would arguably strain the system. For example, in Hong Kong ERP would only be most efficient in the Central, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay. Charging periods are highest during peak hours and lower during off peak hours. Peak hours are determined by the economic advantages relating to different times of the day therefore the most economically
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