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October 26th, 2008
America in Gridlock
[VIDEO] In Singapore, curbing traffic with automatic tolls

As the only country in the world without slums, Singapore was praised by a United Nations report for its green policies.

Singapore was the first country in the world to implement Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), an electronic toll collection system which aims to reduce traffic — and indeed, less than 30 percent of Singaporeans now own cars.

Other cities have attempted similar measures to reduce congestion. This year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to charge traffic fees in peak hours was struck down.

Despite Singapore’s successes, as producers Mary Lockhart and Ara Ayer and correspondent Daljit Dhaliwal report, the automatic fees take a toll on Singapore’s commuters. Below, read blogger perceptions of ERP and Singapore’s infrastructure.

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Despite the costs, “Thë bLög accördïиg to jëиz” praises the speed of ERP compared to stopping at tollbooths in other countries.

Singaporean blogger “Glynsen Wong” refutes government justifications of the ERP, describing his frustrating commute.

The “Cruising to Cambodia” blog visits Singapore and praises its subway system as well as its roads and buildings.

Another visitor, blogger “Valliappa Lakshmanan,” claims that beneath the exterior beauty of Singapore’s buildings, lackluster building codes prove that it is still a third-world country.

Finally, the “Life in Dubai” blog compares the infrastructure of Dubai and Singapore, praising and posting images of Singapore’s restored buildings.

Though Singapore tore down many buildings in a rush to modernize, it embarked on a five-year restoration program in the 1990s.

Inside This Report

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