Singapore Says No To More Cars

Beginning February 2018, Singapore will no longer allow the number of cars on their roads to increase. With 12% of the country’s land mass taken up by public roads, expanding any further is a big no-no. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement. “In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network.”

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Singapore has an excellent public transportation system that allows its citizens to travel in relative peace and comfort. Many of its Asian counterparts have looked towards the city state as a model of growth, and one that makes the best of its resources.

Singaporeans pay a pretty hefty premium in order to purchase a car. There’s the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which gives one the right to buy and own a private vehicle, but has a 10-year limit and an average cost of SGD50,000 (2017). Then you have the road tax, registration fee, good and service tax, and many other payments which, when living in a country known for its superb transportation, doesn’t really makes sense to fork out just to own your own vehicle.

As one may deduce, the growth rate for the auto industry in Singapore is stagnant. Back in 2014, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong aspired for a “car-lite” Singapore, and a 1.5 billion dollar, 15-year plan was drawn up to reduce reliance on private cars and move towards more sustainable transport solutions.

There are about 5.6 million people living in Singapore, and as of the end of 2017, there were 575,353 cars on its roads. Last year, private car ownership sank to a five-year low, as reported by the LTA. If this trend continues, it looks set for Singapore’s vision of ‘car-liteness’ to become a reality.

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