ALS to ERP

I guess many of us have long forgotten the above ‘ugly’ piece of paper that had given us so much trouble in getting it before entering a certain place called the ‘restricted zone’. One has to go to certain places to purchase it at $3 or buy one that gives you free access for a month – the place to get it is shown behind the above paper;

Below is a typical ALS booth selling it;

Photo credits : http://web.worldbank.org

You may read more on here and here.

You need to display this ALS ticket on the top left hand corner of your car windscreen. This ALS (Area Licence Scheme) was implemented in June 1975. At that time, words like RZ (Restricted Zone and CBD (Central Business Districts) were very popular. Of course with this ALS, you can enter the RZ during the peak hour without 4 persons in the car. The price for entering is $3 for daily access and $60 for a month’s access.

You will be amazed by how that lady (usually) standing near the ‘sentry box’ monitored those cars with the ALS ticket on the windscreen. How she can spot those without and take down their vehicle numbers. Understand that these group of people are specially trained for these jobs!

Photo credit : LTA Academy

After about 23years, we discarded this manual system and go for the ERP (Electronic Road Pricing);

Not so troublesome as the ALS as we don’t have to purchase that ticket anymore, yet there are always drivers who forget to insert the cashcard into the IU (In vehicle unit);

Photo credits above : LTA Academy, LTA.

Here is how the ERP system works in detail. Anyway, whichever system it is – it’s still Pay and Pay!

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11 Responses to “ALS to ERP”


  1. 1 Victor Koo Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    In the pre-ALS days, when a car was allowed into the CBD if there were 4 persons in it, the were many strangers who took a free lift from motorists driving into the CBD. One such popular pick-up point was at Guillemard Rd near City Plaza. It was a win-win situation – for the motorists as well as the strangers. Or rather, I should have said it was a win-win-lose situation – the Govt being the losing party.

    You never cease to be amazed at how clever Singaporeans can be in beating any system. I heard that there were even some unemployed youths who waited just outside the CBD and charged a small fee (lower than the ALS fee, of course) so that the motorist could drive into the ALS cheaper than what he would have to pay otherwise. I even heard that there was one joker who placed 2 mannequins in the backseat in a bid to fool the Cisco guard that there were 4 persons in his car. However the sharp-eyed sentry was not fooled and he was caught, haha. No wonder the Govt just had to change the system.

    There were the following amusing personal experiences in those days:

    1. When a luxurious car and a boneshaker pulled together alongside a stranger, it was obvious which one the stranger would hop into; and

    2. A stranger hopped into the backseat of a car, barked out his destination and then proceeded to open up his newspaper to catch up the latest news. He looked very much like a towkay while the motorist looked more like his driver.

  2. 3 profkingsfield2004 Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Ah Lao,

    I tried to read the wordings on the ALS display – there is something wrong. The monthly season will show month which is “2”. What is 12-91?

    I pity the pooor women police officers on duty at the gantry then. Imagine standing in the hot sun checking for cheats.

    One place I remember was Clemenceau Avenue. There was this block of flats that look like Pacific Mansion. It had a huge carpark for residents but those wanting to wait would drive into the compound. Best of all nobody to check like today’s security guards. When it was time up you see a long line of cars inching towards Cavenagh Road (opposite Cuppage Road).

    Did you not discuss about the “S$6 Million Dollar Man” gossip? It was referring to one minister who came up with the idea of “Park & Ride”. Carparks were built all over at Dempsey Road, Newton Circus, Stadium, etc. CSS buses and NTUC Comfort mini-buses were introduced to take motorists into the city. After a few months it was obvious the whole thing was a flop. Dempsey Road carpark became a nursery. Not sure about it today. Imagine 100 year old trees were chopped down. Guess that minister name.

  3. 4 Victor Koo Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Profkingsfield2004 – That area license was a daily one that cost $3. (Yes, there were monthly licenses available as well.) So 2-12-91 meant that the license was for 2nd December 1991.

    As for guessing the minister’s name, I wouldn’t risk it. Mr Lao, you want to take over?

  4. 5 profkingsfield2004 Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 6:33 am

    How can be 1991? ALS was in the 1970s!

  5. 6 Victor Koo Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 8:33 am

    ALS was implemented in the 1970s. But as Ah Lao stated here, it lasted for 23 years. So in 1991, it was still operational. The ERP only became effective in the late 90s?

  6. 7 laokokok Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 8:41 am

    That’s correct Victor. It’s December 1991. It’s still operational in 91. That minister’s name?…I’m not keen in their names as all I know is even with the ERP, the jam is still around. If we take a closer examination – is the jam due to heavy traffic or bad driving habits like last minute filtering causing others to give ways to those selfish drivers? Only drivers got the answers why the roads are jammed!

  7. 8 Lam Chun See Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 10:01 am

    When I was working in NPB at Cuppage Centre in the mid-80’s, used to have lots of experience with this ALS. Once, I dropped on this stranger at Meridian and then turned into Clemenceau Ave and back into Kramat Rd (I think). Didn’t realise that I exited and reentered the RZ. The CISCO lady saw it clearly, and yet proceeded to book me.

  8. 9 profkingsfield2004 Friday, June 22, 2007 at 11:30 am

    U need a lot of luck when picking up passengers to form a group of 4. Let me cite my experiences:

    1. Sometimes passnegers very choosey and give your car a miss. Can be quite laukui if you drive no a/c or small car.

    2. Rear passengers leave tissues inside cigarette box. Have to be ladies because men in thoe days dont use tissues.

    3. Many never say “thank you”. Fussy ones expect you to drive to their preferred spot although you tell them which part of Shenton Way.

    4. Slam the car door very hard, car can shake.

    5. Smokers who sit inside a/c car – can smell their breath

    6. Women who wear hi-heel shoes make scratches on the metal strip at the door.

    7. Passengers who dont even talk or say good morning.

    8. People who sweat so much and jump into the car.

    9. What else……?Nosy passengers who ask you whether you buy shares.

    So ALS ceased in 1991? Forgotten about that.

  9. 10 Lam Chun See Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 9:54 am

    At one time, one of my directors used to ‘chaffeur’ us in his Merc from Cairnhill Hotel to NPB@Cuppage Centre. During the econ crisis of 1985/86, we the EOs and SOs had to park our cars at Cairnhill Hotel. Our directors still enjoyed the privilege of parking at NPB.

    I think the ERP helped a lot in terms of reducing wasted time and improving productivity. I often use this case as well as the library’s use of RFID, and the Easylink as examples in my productivity lectures to foreign participants.

    But I still cannot understand why they do not proceed to a cardless system. Just send us a statement at the end of the month and deduct via Giro. Eliminate the risk of forgetting to insert the cash card.


  1. 1 Things that make you scream shiok! #3 Beating the ERP « chewmark Trackback on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 7:37 am

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