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“the Government Should Implement the Electronic Road Pricing (“erp”) in Order to Alleviate the Road Traffic Congestion Problem in Hong Kong.” to What Extent Do You Agree with This View?

Essay by   •  March 29, 2019  •  Essay  •  868 Words (4 Pages)  •  32 Views

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Hong Kong as an international metropolis, a smooth and efficient road network is essential to keep up with the development of the city. However, road traffic congestion can be easily found at any corners on the street. In order to find a way out of the problem, the government has discussed the possibility of implementing ERP in Hong Kong. Some studies suggest that the ERP is a possible way of solving the road traffic congestion, while some hold opposite views on this idea. This essay aims at discussing the arguments for and against the implementation of the ERP to alleviate the road traffic congestion problem by the government.

The first argument for the implementation is that the ERP can tackle the problem from the root, dealing with the main cause of the problem. One of the major causes to the traffic congestion is the excessive number of vehicles on the road (2014). From 2003 to September of 2017 , according to the Transport Department(2017), the number of licensed car has increased 45% from 524000 to 762 136. However, the Highways Department states that the total number of road has only increased 9% from 1933.89 kilometres to 2,107 kilometres (2017). These show that the development of public road is unable to keep up with the rapid growth on the number of licensed car. The ERP encourages the use of public transport by imposing a levy on users of a certain road. Private car drivers will then turn to take public transport or drive through another road if they are not willing to pay the said levy. The users of the road can then be reduced and congestion can be alleviated, the efficiency of the road will then be attained. Therefore, the ERP is an effective solution that the government should work on.

Besides ERP’s ability to tackle the problem from the root, it is considered the best solution to tackle the said problem base on it’s short term benefits and cost-effectiveness. As mentioned before, the current road network is unable to keep up with the city’s pace and is hindering the development of Hong Kong by lowering her efficiency. So, the traffic congestion problem is an urgent matter and requires solution as soon as possible. Other suggestions to solve the problem, such as building more infrastructure or changing the road policy system in Hong Kong, requires a much longer time and money on research and development. Which may not be the best for the current situation. However, research on ERP has already been doing over 20 years (2017). It also requires a relatively lower level of technical and financial support. So, it is considered as a better solution than the others.

Despite the advantages of the ERP, people oppose the implementation of it due to the following drawbacks. Some stakeholders claim that the ERP is ineffective as it is not threatening enough to the private car drivers. Private car drivers are usually people with no difficulties with daily expenses, the levy charged may not be expensive enough that they are always willing to pay the levy no matter they are truly in need or not. The levy burden will then have the largest impact on public transport or drivers that use cars for a living such as delivery drivers or taxi drivers, which was not the major purpose of the pricing system. Therefore, the ERP has limited effectiveness.

Also, there are some constraints on the implementation of ERP. One of the major concerns of the citizens over this issue is the privacy problem. Ziyuan, Zhiyuan, QiXiu, and Meead suggest that “since the transactions

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