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Netizens voice disappointment as LTA persists with ‘bulky’ ERP 2.0 OBU implementation

Motorists express frustration with LTA’s rollout of ERP 2.0 OBUs. Disappointed by bulky design and inconvenient card reader placement, they question LTA’s consideration of user feedback and design rationale.



SINGAPORE: Some motorists have expressed their disappointment towards the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for persisting with the rollout of the new Electronic Road Pricing system, ERP 2.0.

Criticism has been directed at the new on-board units (OBUs) due to their bulky design and inconvenient placement of the cash card reader, such as beneath the glove compartment or in the front passenger footwell.

Many motorists have voiced concerns about whether the LTA genuinely considers user feedback, questioning the rationale behind proceeding with and defending the current design.

Earlier on 28 March, the LTA announced that existing local motorcycle owners would progressively receive notifications regarding OBU installations via letter, email, or SMS starting from 1 May.

Additionally, the LTA stated that all new vehicles registered from 1 May onwards will come equipped with the ERP 2.0 system’s OBU already installed, marking the next phase of installation for these two groups of motorists.

The initial phase of installation commenced in November 2023, focusing on company vehicles as the first recipients of the OBU.

Currently, over 13,000 vehicles have been fitted with OBUs, with approximately 75 per cent belonging to company fleets such as buses and motorcycles, according to the LTA.

Motorists’ frustration with the latest OBU design

Meanwhile, in a recent CNA article, several motorists have voiced frustrations regarding the difficulty in accessing their CashCard.

Specifically, they have highlighted the inconvenient placement of the card reader.

The online community has earlier echoed these sentiments, expressing dissatisfaction with the LTA’s choice of a “bulky” OBU design.

Concerns have been raised about potential hindrances to driver visibility through the windscreen, with some citing worries about blind spots.

Amidst increasing concerns about the rising expenses associated with vehicle ownership, particularly in the face of surging Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices, worries about possible cascading effects on transportation costs have also surfaced.

Responding to these concerns, the LTA has implemented changes to the installation process based on feedback from early adopters.

These adjustments include allowing drivers to temporarily deactivate their CashCard using the touchscreen and providing flexibility in selecting the installation positions for the card reader and touchscreen display, within technical feasibility.

However, despite these efforts, some motorists still find the new system inconvenient, particularly regarding the potential need to take time off work for installation changes.

Additionally, there are conflicting opinions regarding the usefulness of the touchscreen display for motorcycles, with some riders expressing a preference for the older design due to its sleekness.

Questions have also been raised about the necessity of a three-piece system for cars.

Concerns over LTA’s decision-making and disconnect with consumer perspective

Recent online community feedback reflects disappointment with the LTA’s decision to persist with the bulky design despite motorists’ concerns.

For example, a comment on LTA’s Facebook post expressed worry that the design could endanger drivers and provide minimal benefit.

The comment emphasized the importance of future-proofing the design from the outset, likening the situation to the Simply Go Ezlink transition but highlighting that the OBU poses potential dangers to road users.

A frustrated motorist who recently had the OBU installed expressed his grievances to the LTA.

He criticized the requirement to place the processor at the passenger seat, despite his request to have it installed on the driver’s side, claiming that the installer cited LTA regulations as the reason for this limitation.

Furthermore, he criticized the oversized display unit, which he felt served little purpose other than controlling volume and displaying the remaining balance.

“If motorcycle can have a small unit, why can’t the car be installed with the same unit?” the motorist questioned.

Another comment criticised LTA for its inability to implement a satisfactory nationwide system that impacts the majority of the population.

He highlighted what he perceived as a lack of logical thinking and a disconnect between system designers, policymakers, and the consumers’ perspective.

Netizen mocked, “World-class nation with a schoolboy innovation”

Some netizens expressed bewilderment at the seemingly obvious inconvenience posed to drivers by the design, suggesting that it should have been apparent during the approval stages.

Some comments have raised concerns about the potential inconvenience stemming from the new OBU design when motorists access older carpark gantries.

Their worry centres around the possibility that these older gantries may struggle to detect the CashCard when it remains in the processor at the passenger side.

This could pose difficulties for motorists who must manually remove the card to scan the gantries.

There are also netizens urging LTA to improve their policies, pointing out several instances where LTA’s decisions had backfired, highlighting a lack of foresight and ignorance regarding practical feasibility on the ground.

Specifically, they mentioned recent issues with the “Simply-Go” system and mandatory taxi alighting points in the Central Business District (CBD) as examples of policies that have caused inconvenience or problems for the public.

One netizen went as far as to mock the latest OBU design, labelling it as “a world-class nation with a schoolboy innovation.”

This sarcastic remark suggests that despite Singapore being praised as a smart nation, the LTA has failed to leverage the latest technologies to address the daily problems faced by ordinary citizens.

Amy Khor stressed irreplaceability of ERP 2.0 OBU, citing smartphone limitations

During 6 November 2023 parliamentary session, Senior Minister of State for Transport, Amy Khor, emphasized that ERP 2.0 cannot be entirely replaced by smartphone technology.

She underscored the importance of the OBU can “better ensure reliability and performance, and reduce significant downstream operational challenges, such as disputes regarding charging inaccuracies”.

Regarding the use of smartphones for ERP transactions, Dr Khor highlighted the inconvenience for motorists, who would need to initiate their mobile apps, enter passcodes, or use biometric authentication each time they travel, potentially leading to inadvertent neglect of the ERP process.

“This is inconvenient to motorists, and some may inadvertently forget to start their mobile apps for the ERP.”

However, Dr Khor acknowledged earlier feedback about the OBU’s inelegant and bulky design, mentioning the development of a mobile interface for those who opt against installing the touchscreen display. This mobile interface allows motorists to access the information typically displayed on the touchscreen via their smartphones.

Reiterating the LTA’s stance, Dr Khor confirmed that there are no immediate plans to introduce distance-based charging. She emphasized that any plans to implement this approach must consider multiple factors.

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A terrible policy that directly affects the sheltered “elites.”

Hopefully this will get them to “wake” up and think twice of doing the same old routine at the ballot box. Money cannot buy you protection from an authoritarian regime.

Rest assure such “improvements” or “innovations” is NOT to reduce traffic congestion but to increase ERP revenue. If traffic does improve, they will just release more COEs and more cars means more ERP revenues, so traffic congestion will be back to usual.

I will vote for any oppositions that will remove the erp and coe systems once they are elected.

We are always right is NOW in no uncertain terms conveyed to 6 million sheeps.

To keep THIS PERVERTED PAP is a travesty to the development of enhancements of a truly progressive SG. Worst IT DENY our children and grandchildren a better society WITHOUT this PAP. Who says PAP is better by now.

Who says this PAP is good when corruption IS ALLOWED to roam freely under the watchful eyes of their corrupted agencies when the latter shd be liberal to serve SG NOT the PAP.

The style and capability of leadership displayed is nothing short of disastrous, as evidenced in this road management, traffic management issue.

The whole spectrum of which demonstrated incongruence, rigidity, lack of helicopter view.

Just another example of a product designed by idiots and back by Monkeys who cannot lose face to admit that their designers are idiots. Thought the SimplyGo saga would have taught them something . . . but no, Monkeys can NEVER lose face.

LIAR !!!

ERP 2.0 cannot be entirely replaced by smartphone technology
errr …. why singpass can?
which one more advanced. requires more security: ERP2.0 or singpass?

There are no immediate plans to introduce distance-based charging.
This is true intention; Distance-based charging is coming sooner or later
So the driver must not be able to control the device.

….and we just got the 5th SMARTEST City award!
Shouldnt tech devices get smaller as they get smarter?
Our ctry is upside down..
Someone SMART has to invent an ” all-in-one” gadget..
Didnt the manufacturer care about feedback from users..

Netizen voiced disappointment? Voice Kam Lan, you local fucktard gave them the mandate in 2020, remember?

Even the in vehicle unit for the current erp system had been known to be ugly for years, now lta is putting in 3 boxes. We already told them off for simply go, now they are not going to simply let this go even if it means displeasing all the car owners in Singapore. Anyway, why would they delay a system that’s going to make pap more money than the old erp system. Only the citizens is holding the shorter end of the stick.

All transport fee should be free. I think Singapore-Tianjin bus fare free so all kinds of transport fee should be free. So much income tax and GST tax, can deduct from them. All these machine system and card and digital system waste money, complicated life and increase bureaucracy.Total waste.

They’ll put anything on your property as long as it’s a cash cow for them. If it has to be mounted on a wagon and be towed around, they don’t fucking care! As long as it rakes in revenue for those crooks.
I wouldn’t worry about the size and number of components now, I’d be worrying when they decide to raise the tariffs again to cover the costs of this BS unit.

There are are 2 options

1. Change to a bigger car to accomodate
the bulky obu .

2. Wait for the skoolboy to grow up .
Currently , cant find a grown up man and
the design .

KNN , still cannot understand the Main Point .

Voice, mock and query all you like people, … it’ll only continue to fall on proud and deaf ears !!!

Since they’re “acknowledged” as the “arbiter of truth” according to POFMA, it stands to reason that, … they’re oso the “arbiters for” … we’ll decide what’s right, never mind what the people think or feel !!!

Forms part of, … you get what you voted for “package” right ?!!!

Maybe their contractors supplying this system all ka-ki-nan. I scratch your back you scratch mine.

Just wondering … is the OBU still operational and drawing power when the car is stationary with its engine/motor off and parked somewhere?

Why is there a need for audio output in the first place? If LTA deems showing the remaining balance to be unnecessary in the EZlink transition to SimplyGo, WHY have a display to do just that in the OBU? And a TOUCHSCREEN at that! What kind of interaction does LTA expect drivers to have with the unit??

I’m wondering if the OBU has an undisclosed microphone and pin-hole camera hidden somewhere as well …