Asia Minute: Singapore Says Enough Cars on its Roads

by Sophie Craig October 25, 2017, 0:40
Asia Minute: Singapore Says Enough Cars on its Roads

Sure, Singapore always had the reputation of banning unsavory things like chewing gum, porn, and free speech (hur hur), but the nation will soon add cars to the list of prohibited items.

Those wanting to buy a vehicle, must first get a "certificate of entitlement", valid for 10 years - the average cost of a certificate is now around SGD50,000 (USD37,00).

The number available depends on the number of vehicles that are deregistered.

But LTA doesn't expect this move to "significantly affect the supply of COEs", as the quota is determined by the number of vehicle de-registrations. Next year, the growth target will be zero. The city has a population of around 5.6 million.

The city-state said the growth cap for all passenger cars and motorcycles will be cut to zero from 0.25 percent a year in February, while pledging a new multi-billion-dollar investment in the public transport network.

Come February next year, the city-state will no longer allow any new vehicles into the country, citing land shortage and overcrowded roads.

Currently, roads take up 12 per cent of Singapore's total land area.

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Right now, the government allows just a.25% increase in auto ownership per year.

Singapore has used these strategies for years to discourage the use of private cars-and some of the money raised goes to fund mass transit.

Singapore, whose population of 5.56 million has grown almost 40% since 2000, tightly controls the ownership and sale of vehicles through a bidding process and an annual growth rate that caps the total number of vehicles on the city-state's roads.

The certificate of entitlement scheme makes cars too expensive for your average Uber driver to own one.

As the government announced the newest restrictions on cars Monday, it also announced that over the next five years it is investing almost 21 billion US dollars on rail and bus transportation.

Despite the government's policies, there are almost one million vehicles on Singapore's roads.

A mid-range auto in Singapore can typically cost four times the price in the United States.

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