Traffic congestion has been a disturbing issue to all Hong Kong people for nearly half a century. It is not uncommon to be stuck in traffic at rush hours every day. Hong Kong people often take extra time to travel because of traffic congestion. Therefore, the implementation of the Electronic Road Pricing is proposed. Recently, the Government has then consulted the public for opinions by launching the “Electronic Road Pricing Pilot Scheme in Central and Adjacent Areas”1.
Proposing the “Electronic Road Pricing System” has aroused attention from the public as it is both advantageous and disadvantageous. Some people regard it as a fair, equitable and efficient policy in solving congestion problem2. Some people consider it as a government’s means to shift its financial burden to the public and discriminates the poor to use the road2. This implementation harms and benefits Hong Kong people at the same time. Thus, we can see that this issue is greatly controversial and contentious. The enquiry of this investigation is to see if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of the implementation of the Electronic Road Pricing system in a bid to indicate whether it is effective on improving Hong Kong people’s quality of life or not. Throwback to the 1980s, Electronic Road Pricing system failed to win public support amid fears the technology would be used in future to track people’s movements3.
This means that implementing this system has the possibility to threaten Hong Kong people’s privacy and quality of life. Also, the extra fee will increase financial burden on Hong Kong’s drivers, and hence Hong Kong people as the drivers (e.g.
taxi drivers, Bus company) need to cover their extra cost paid. On the other hand, this implementation of the Electronic Road Pricing system is meant to facilitate Hong Kong people’s daily life as it is proposed to restrict the number of vehicles on the roads of Hong Kong. Therefore, the focus questions set for the enquiry question are:What are the impact of the Electronic Road Pricing system?Could the implementation of the Electronic Road Pricing system alleviate traffic congestions in Hong Kong?