ERP in Hong Kong

Hong Kong ERP Pilot Scheme
The Government announced its intention to introduce an ERP system in the territory to tackle road congestion problem in the urban area and commissioned a study to design and conduct a pilot scheme in Central. The study concluded that ERP for tackling road traffic congestion was feasible on technical, administrative and legal grounds.

Feasibility Study on ERP
There was a sharp increase in the number of private vehicles in the early 1990s, which prompted the community’s discussion on how to control car growth and address traffic congestion. The Government commissioned a feasibility study with objectives of examining the practicability of implementing an ERP system in Hong Kong and assessing the need for such a system to meet transport objectives.

Feasibility Study on Congestion Charging Transport Model
ERP scheme was preferred to be implemented in the commercial areas on Hong Kong Island after provision of a free-of-charge alternative route for motorists to bypass the charging area.

Study of Road Traffic Congestion in Hong Kong
The Traffic Advisory Committee (“TAC”) recommended to start planning for ERP pilot scheme in Central District to alleviate the localised road traffic congestion and to maximise the efficiency of available road space therein.

ERP Pilot Scheme in Central and its Adjacent Areas – Public Engagement
The Government took forward TAC’s recommendation by launching a three-month public engagement exercise for the planning of the pilot scheme in Central and its adjacent areas to enhance public understanding of the basic elements, pertinent issues and overseas experiences of ERP. The exercise aimed at encouraging public discussion and building consensus in the community.

ERP Pilot Scheme in Central and its Adjacent Area - Feasibility Study
The Government commenced an in-depth feasibility study on the pilot scheme in Central and its adjacent areas. The feasibility study includes carrying out a detailed analysis of the views collected during the public engagement activities in 2015 and referencing to the latest traffic data, overseas experiences as well as previous ERP study results.

Smart Mobility – Intelligent Traffic Management
ERP Pilot Scheme in Central Core District
Government’s multi-prong approach, with the use of technology including the Pilot Scheme, to enhance traffic management for tackling the traffic congestion in Central. The preliminary concept of the Pilot Scheme will be framed for stakeholder consultation.

ERP Basic Elements
and Pertinent Issues
Charging area
"Charging area" is the area covered by an ERP scheme. This area is usually, but not limited to, the central business district of a city where severe traffic congestion occurs frequently.
Charging mechanism
There are three common types of charging mechanisms, namely “area-based”, “cordon-based” and “time-based”. Under an area-based charging mechanism, motorists are only required to pay once per day and could enter and re-enter the charging area. Under a cordon-based charging mechanism, vehicles are charged everytime they cross the charging boundary within the charging period.  

For time-based charging mechanism, vehicles are charged with levels according to the duration of stay within the charging area, whilst for area-based and cordon-based charging mechanisms, the duration of stay is not taken into account.
Charging period
"Charging period" refers to the period during which vehicles will be charged, and normally corresponds to the period that traffic congestion is prevailing.
Charging level
"Charging level" is the amount of charges to be set with a view to inducing a change in motorists’ travel behaviour so as to reduce traffic volume in the charging area to an acceptable level.
Exemption and concession
All vehicles using the roads within a charging area contribute to traffic congestion, and may thus subject to congestion charge to varying extent. 

Whether or not certain types of vehicles or usage of vehicles should be exempted or given concession would have to take into account a host of factors, in particular the effectiveness of the scheme.
There are several common technologies for ERP, including the “Automatic Number Plate Recognition”, “Dedicated Short Range Communication”, “Radio Frequency Identification” and “Global Navigation Satellite System”. Depending on the types of technology to be employed, associated roadside infrastructures (e.g. gantries, poles, etc.) would be required.
Overseas experiences show that over 10% reduction of traffic volume in the charging zones could be achieved in Singapore, Gothenburg (Sweden), Stockholm (Sweden), London (United Kingdom), Durham (United Kingdom) and Milan (Italy).
Complementary measures
Overseas experience shows that appropriate complementary measures are instrumental in a successful ERP scheme, with an objective to encourage and facilitate drivers or passengers to make better use of public transport, or to travel to the charging area during non-peak hours.
Privacy concerns
Adequate protection of privacy is one of the primary public concerns when implementing ERP. With the advancement in technology over the years and more established privacy-protection laws, privacy issues could be largely addressed.

Last Revision Date: 21 March 2019
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