Starting Next Year, Singapore will Stop Adding Car Numbers
Singapore, among one of the world’s most expensive places to own a vehicle, will stop increasing the number of cars on its roads next year. The government will cut the annual growth rate for cars and motorcycles to zero from 0.25 percent starting in February 2018.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the scarcity of land and public transport upgrades as reasons for the cap. Singapore has strict policies aimed at limiting the number of cars on its roads. Car ownership rates are far lower in Singapore than in other wealthy countries.
Land in Singapore is a precious commodity and officials want to ensure the most productive use of the remaining space. Its infrastructure is among the world’s most efficient and the government is investing S$28 billion more on rail and bus transportation over the next five years, the regulator said.
In addition to caps, Singapore has a deliberate policy of elevating the cost of owning a car in an effort to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. It does this through a system which requires bidding for the right to own and use a vehicle for a limited number of years, known as a Certificate of Entitlement (COE).
As a result, a mid-range car in Singapore can typically cost about four times as much as it would in many other countries.
Despite the government's policies, there are nearly one million vehicles on Singapore's roads. Just over 600,000 of those are private and rental cars, including cars used by ride-hailing services such as Uber and Grab.
The LTA said there are limitations to expanding the tiny country's road network. Roads take up 12% of the country's total land area, which is a far higher percentage than in many larger countries.
Fewer cars mean less room would be needed for parking lots, freeing up valuable urban land for other, more productive uses such as parks, recreational facilities, bike lanes, and walking paths.
(from various sources : Channel NewsAsia | BBC | Bloomberg | The Guardian )